Category Archives: Malaysia boleh

Examination Question

One of the best things about blogging in the early days is the friends one would make. It was great to meet new friends and build a community around the blog and friends’ blogs.

I met fellow Kiwi and reader, Andrew, few years ago when he visited Malaysia. He even attended one of our bloggers meet up sessions.

Years passed, Andrew sent me a message few weeks ago. Andrew is now a university lecturer in New Zealand (I think!).

He told me that I became his source of inspiration for an examination question. Andrew had my experience had a blogger in a form of an examination question!

Daniel is a student studying politics and law at Victoria University. In his first year of study (2010) he started a “blog” on the internet writing weekly articles on political events in New Zealand posting them to his own web site.

After 12 months of blogging with little readership, attention was suddenly drawn to his web site when it was mentioned in a popular newspaper column. As a result the number of readers started to rise significantly. He then decided to set up a Facebook page to attract more attention to his blog. Soon he had over 3,000 followers on Facebook.

The costs of hosting his web site really started to increase during the second year so at the beginning of this third year (February 2012) he thought he should arrange some advertising on his web site to defray costs. He found a company called Nuffnang which arranges advertising for blogger’s web sites and pays commissions if the number of hits to a web page exceeded a specified number each month. Daniel engaged Nuffnang to place advertising on his web site.

In December 2012 Daniel received a cheque from Nuffnang for $7,000. This met the costs of hosting his webpage ($1,000) that year and gave him some spare money for his fourth year at university. He was looking forward to a bigger cheque from Nuffnang in December 2013 as his blog attracted yet more readers.

[Examination questions redacted]

One of the things that I’ve never thought I could achieve is that I will become a source of inspiration for an examination question.

Achievement unlocked!

Election 2013: Lain Kalilah! – Part II

Election Day was rather uneventful for me. My wife and I rushed back from Kota Kinabalu. We went separate ways after we touched down as she had to travel to another place to vote.


Found this in the plane!

I quickly picked up KF from his home. We voted at my old primary school located at the constituency of Seputeh. Seputeh is a Parliamentary seat held by incumbent Teresa Kok of the Federal opposition party, Democratic Action Party (DAP), for a few terms. As expected, Teresa Kok won and this time round with a record breaking majority of 50, 000.

The turnout at the voting polls was crazy and some people had to line up for hours. However, KF and I took less than five minutes as there was no queue. However, it rained heavily.

This year marks the first election in our history to use indelible ink. Although indelible, some friends told me that their ink came off within a few hours! I am told that real indelible ink can last for a week. The Election Commission later admitted that food colouring, not chemicals, was in the indelible ink!

Although I took great care from staining anything with my “indelible ink”, I accidentally stained my ballot paper with “indelible ink”. Fortunately, the poll workers said it’s okay cause I only stained the back of my ballot paper. Phew.

My wife and I watched the election results at Melvin and Tania’s house. The local television channels were showing lopsided results. They kept announcing the seats that Barisan Nasional had won whereas the Pakatan Rakyat’s seats were not announced much later. We had to follow alternative medias’ websites such as Malaysiakini for the latest updates.


Najib with a Chinese “fu” (talisman) on this forehead. Made me LOL big time! In Chinese folklore, a Chinese “fu” is usually used to stop vampires.

To my disappointment, the results favoured the ruling party. I was hoping for a change but it looks like we have to wait another five years. I was also very disappointed with the Prime Minister for saying that there was a “Chinese Tsunami”. He blamed the Chinese for their losses (they lost more Parliamentary seats than the last round but they gained the state of Kedah). As a leader, he shouldn’t have blamed any race for their loss even of it was true. One leader (now former) also branded the Chinese ungrateful.


Utusan Melayu’s infamous headline – Apa Lagi Cina Mau (What else does the Chinese want?. This inspired a parody side – http://apalagicinamahu.tumblr.com/.

Notwithstanding the aforesaid, I think Barisan had lost the Chinese votes. They lost them all when they tolerated Malay extreme rights group, Perkasa and even putting a candidate from Perkasa in the Shah Alam seat. No Malaysian wants to be called a “pendatang” or to have people calling religious texts to be burned. Barisan dug their own graves.

This also caused the downfall of the Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA). They probably spent a fortune on newspaper advertisement demonizing the Islamic party, PAS, to discourage them to vote for Pakatan Rakyat (coalition of opposition parties). However, I do not think it worked. Many Chinese are no longer afraid of PAS and this could be seen at pre-election ceramahs where Chinese were seen waving PAS flags.

After reading the late P.G Lim’s memoir Kaleidoscope (highly recommended read btw!), I can’t help but to notice the similarities between the 1969 General Election (the election right before May 13 racial riot tragedy) and GE13. In both elections, Barisan (then called the Alliance) failed to secure 2/3 majority, the Chinese voted for the opposition, MCA threatened and subsequently refused to take part in the Government if they lose. Of course, there was no riot in this election!

Many election analysts said that Barisan had not only lost the Chinese voters but also the urban voters. It was reported that Pakatan Rakyat won the popular votes with 50.87% of the total votes. I think this had a lot to do with failure of the Federal Government to tackling national issues such as corruption, positive discrimination, street crime (and their stand that crime rate is merely a perception), brutality of the authorities (e.g beating of Bersih participants and custodial deaths) and small issues like unsolicited SMSs from Barisan Nasional containing our personal data.


This went around Facebook. Made me LOL big time.

One benefit of this general election result is that the country is heading to a two party system. A two party system will maintain a check and balance as the ruling party will be on their toes all the time.

As mentioned above, PAS lost the state of Kedah. I am actually glad that they lost. The PAS-led Kedah government maintained its housing policy which requires 50% ownership by Bumiputeras in all housing projects in the state. This makes no economic sense. Further, any Government that comes out with such raced based policy deserves no support.

I am against all forms of racial politics in Malaysia. We can see the effects of racial politics with our own eyes in Malaysia.

We have all seen so-called leaders demonizing and/or disparaging other races to win votes.

To me, such racial tones create distrust some gullible Malaysians.

A united Malaysia is a better Malaysia. Together, with our best minds, we build this country to compete with other first world countries. We build this country for our children to live without fear.

Election 2013: Lain Kalilah! – Part I

After exactly 4 years in power, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the dissolution of Parliament and general elections to be held on 5 May 2013. I was glad that general election was finally called but the problem was that I was scheduled to run a 10KM marathon at the Borneo Marathon to be held at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!

Unfortunately for the organisers of Borneo Run, they did not anticipate the election day and had to reschedule the run. The organisers changed it to a midnight run (first time in Sabah!) on 5 May 2013 so that runners can return to their respective voting areas to vote after the run. Unfortunately, someone stole some detonators in Kota Kinabalu and the police advised the organisers to cancel the run! To avoid a terrorist attack like the Boston bombing, the organisers cancelled the run – when we were already in Kota Kinabalu! I am told that over 2000 runners traveled to Kota Kinabalu to run the Borneo Marathon.

Notwithstanding the bad news, I took the opportunity to attend some ceramahs in Kota Kinabalu City. Prior to that, I attended some ceramahs held at Happy Garden and Taman Desa, both fall under my constituency. The ceramahs were massive – perhaps a few hundred people. Ceramahs in this general election have turned to be a festive affair with hundreds and some even thousands attending.


At Happy Garden. Tereka Kok and Nurul Izzah spoke at this ceramah.


Taman Desa with Asalkan Bukan UMNO (ABU) ngo Harris Ibrahim


Some came prepared


Lim Lip Eng (Segambut candidate)

But the first ceramah I attended at Kota Kinabalu City was one by local opposition party, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), in particular by Melanie Chia. It was a small ceramah held at a small park near my in-laws place. She spoke in Hokkien, a dialect that I do not understand. Nevertheless, I managed to catch some of her messages when she put some slides on.


Melanie Chia’s ceramah.


Basketball court on the right XD

After leaving Melanie Chia’s ceramah, I headed to Pakatan Rakyat’s, national opposition parties collision, ceramah held at Foh Sang. It was not a ceramah. They were playing PSY’s Gangnam Style and Gentlemen! They were got people dancing there!


Gangnam style!

The ceramah continued after the song. There was a small commotion during the ceramah. President of SAPP, Yong Teck Lee tried to storm the stage after a speaker blamed him for the Project IC. The police were there to mediate the situation and Yong went back to his ceramah held one street away from Pakatan’s ceramah. I thought the police was trying to stop the ceramah because the ceramah played Gangnam Style and Gentlemen!


PAS Candidate for Tanjung Aru came with his entourage of tudong clad ladies holding PAS flags. It was a common sight to see Chinese waving the once feared PAS flags in this election.

I later stop at Yong’s ceramah. There were quite a lot of people – far much more than his fellow colleague, Melanie Cheah.

Sabah’s political sphere is quite different from Peninsula Malaysia. They have many parties which are not aligned to each other. 3 corner fights are normal. There is even a 7 corner fight!


This is how you campaign in Sabah!


Found this in my MAS flight back to Kuala Lumpur.

Since I didn’t get to run, I ended up eating non stop in Kota Kinabalu City. The next blog postings will be about food and thereafter the election results and my views about the results.

Safer Malaysia

Those living in Klang Valley will know how bad the crime rates  are. Everyday someone is a victim of crime in Malaysia. Everyday, we live in fear. Everyday I worry when it will be my turn.

If you’ve been following Facebook / Twitter recently, you’ll see a spate of updates on street crimes. Some are caught on CCTV. Some of the victim’s injuries are posted. The days are so bad that my mother stop going out at night due to the fear of being a victim of crime.

Pictures speak a thousand words. The pictures below were all taken from Facebook.

To me, it is undeniable that crime rates are high. Unfortunately, our Home Minister said that the rising crime rate is a matter of perception. It looks like we, as citizens of Malaysia, are left to fend for ourselves.

My friends, Richard Wee and Yip Huen Weng, have taken this matter in their own hands by forming SaferMalaysia, a citizen’s protect which focuses on issues of security and safety of the citizens of the country. For details, please see below:

 

We are the representatives from Safer Malaysia and are writing to you for your assistance in our effort to make Malaysia a safer place.

Safer Malaysia is a citizens’ project, which focuses on issues of security and safety of the citizens of the country. It is a platform for people to CONNECT, to SHARE their concerns about crime and to COMMUNICATE with each other. Safer Malaysia is also a platform for concern citizens to COMMUNICATE our thoughts and offer suggestions and solutions to the government in the matter of crime. Safer Malaysia also hopes to CO-OPERATE with the relevant authorities to find ways to make Malaysia a safer place for everyone.We append links to our articles, interviews and announcements:-

i. LoyarBurok – http://www.loyarburok.com/2012/06/28/safer-malaysia/
– This is our principle plans at the moment

ii. BFM Radio – http://www.bfm.my/safer-malaysia.html
– Safer Malaysia was interviewed on 25th June 2012

iii. Malaysian Insider – http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/litee/print/malaysia/citizen-group-seeks-crime-solution-detailed-figures/

iv. Malaysia Kini – http://www.freemalaysiakini2.com/?p=38014

v.  Website – http://safermalaysia.com/

At the moment, Safer Malaysia has more than 400 followers on Facebook and more than 350 followers on Twitter. Safer Malaysia started on 11th June 2012.

Safer Malaysia will host a candlelight vigil on 1st August 2012 at Bandar Utama Central Park at 9.00pm. We also strongly encourage all Malaysians to light a candle on that date and time wherever they may be and snap a photo of the same before uploading it to Facebook and Twitter. Our links for Facebook and Twitter are the following:-

i. Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/SaferMalaysia

ii. Twitter – http://twitter.com/saferMsiaWe truly hope your company can assist us in the sharing of this news, as this is a citizens’ issue, which concerns all Malaysians.

For avoidance of doubt, Safer Malaysia is initiated by two gentlemen, Richard Wee and Yip Huen Weng, who are both residing in the Klang Valley and both very concern for the safety of their family and friends. They may be contacted at 016-2750025 and 012-3111580, respectively.

I hope that you will take part in the candlelight vigil.

Bersih 3.0

It’s been another crazy week. Hardly had time to think of what to blog.

The Bersih 3.0 rally is just a day away. Although I would love to attend it again, whether as an observer under the Bar Council or as a participant, I will not be in the country.

In fact, I will be New York City and Washington DC to attend the annual International Trademarks Attorney (INTA) Conference. New York City is also having their own Bersih rally on the day I arrive. Unfortunately, it will be over when I arrive the city.

Anyway, to anyone attending the rally in Kuala Lumpur, stay safe. Make sure:-

1. You wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You need to run when things go wrong. Looking pretty is the last thing you want to do in a Bersih rally. But perhaps not smelling bad is something you should ensure.
2. Bring water, towel and some salt. The effect of tear gas is a bitch. It feels like having onions rubbing onto your eyeballs.


Bersih 2.0 – the moment when tear gas was fired.

3. Never resist arrest with force but you can always question why you are arrested. If you resist arrest, you can be assured that you’ll be subdued with force. Look for the Bar Council monitoring team members so that you can provide your details to them. At least there is a record that the authorities have taken you away.
4. If provoked, never retaliate. Never participate in any form of violence. It gives the authorities the reason to arrest or disperse the crowd. Make sure you bring your identity card along. It is an offence if you are unable to produce your identification to the authorities when asked.
5. I was told that tear gas will be fired once a bell is rung. If you find FRU marching towards the crowd and a bell is being rung, start moving against the wind.
6. Always think of escape routes whenever there are many people. This will avoid you being trampled when something happens.
7. Be vigilant of explosions. If you see any suspected parcels, move away and alert people or even the police. During Anwar’s trial verdict early this year, homemade bombs exploded outside the Kuala Lumpur High Court. No one was caught until today.
8. Remember that not all police personnel are bad. There are good cops and bad cops. When I was running away from tear gas during the Bersih 2.0 rally, a policeman guided me to a safe spot. I ran towards the spot but he remained at his place taking the brunt of the tear gas.
9. You sign Negaraku as if it is your last time singing it. The state of our country is getting terrible. We need to boose the moral of the Rakyat to make Malaysia a better place.

R U Ready?

[Advertorial]

With election looming, it’s time for Barisan Nasional to dish out some goodies. The latest goodie, the repeal of the Internal Security Act 1950 and the 3 emergency ordinances. Although this move is highly applaud, it still doesn’t solve many of this country’s problem. Corruption and abuse of power are still rampant.

To evaluate whether the Barisan Nasional has done well since the last election, the article by Lucius Goon published by Malaysian Insider is a good article to evaluate whether BN have done well.

SEPT 15 – If Malaysians ever needed any evidence on what sustained opposition and pressure from the public can achieve, they need not wonder any more.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that the ISA would be repealed, that the laws of assembly would be changed, that the three proclamations of Emergency will be repealed, etc. This is indeed a welcome move and as expected the PM will claim credit and say that it shows that he is a reformer.

Let’s not forget Malaysians, today came about only because Najib is desperate. He knows he has lost middle Malaysia because of his administration’s flip-flops, corruption, the antics of the First Family and the right-wing bent of Umno politicians.

It is akin to Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi trying to reform the judiciary and set up the MACC (we know how that turned out) after the major reverses of 2008. He too only moved after the voters gave him a whack.

It does seem that our Umno leaders will only give us what we want and deserve when they have no more options. This is hardly surprising because reform and Umno do not exist in the same planet.

Tomorrow’s headlines in the mainstream media will be effusive and over the top.

The sycophants will call Najib Bapa Transformasi or Bapa Reformasi but I invite Malaysians to ponder on the role all of us especially the brave men and women of Bersih 2.0 played in forcing Najib to go down a path he never intended to go.

I also urge Malaysians to remember what has not changed and what can never be changed:

1) Bersih was declared an illegal organisation and six Parti Sosialis Malaysia politicians were detained unfairly and yet the government has not had the decency to apologise for its overreaction. Basically Malaysians were treated like criminals.

2) Ibrahim Ali and Perkasa have been given a free reign by Najib to push Malaysia to the right.

3) This is the administration which has reneged on its word on liberalising the economy. Instead, Najib is allowing Umno/crony capitalists to once again grab a share of big projects like the MRT, LRT.

4) Nothing is sacred anymore. Now our history is being changed to suit Umno’s current worldview. All because Mat Sabu said that Mat Indera was a hero for attacking a police post manned by British.

He was accused of supporting communists and then Umno-friendly academics said that British were friendly parties because Malaya was not colonised!!! History was turned on its head by liars who will say and do anything to stay in power.

5) Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbaini died under mysterious circumstances while in MACC buildings. Lawyer Shafee Abdullah would like us to believe that Sarbaini went on to the ledge for fun and then fell to his death. But we know better.

6) This is the administration which bullied its way to power in Perak, usupring power which the people gave to Pakatan Rakyat. Legal precedents were thrown out and the crooks were installed as the government.

7) This is the government where Umno types get 30 per cent commission on defence deals. This is what a Wikileaks cable said.

8) This is a government where the rights of Christians have been trampled on. I am not only talking about the Allah case but also the Alkitab issue.

9) This is also the government where a chief minister continues to lord over the state despite heaps of evidence of corruption and abuse of power.

So today belongs to Malaysians who have not flinched at the threats of the government and who have pressured Najib the reluctant reformer.

If you want a better Malaysia, you have to fight for it. The government only responds when we don’t buckle.

My assignment of this advertorial tasked me to write an article on the importance of voting. You can check the article at the R U Ready page at http://www.facebook.com/rureadymy at this link. Please share it with your friends.

Also, please LIKE the page and join the Music Video contest that is running at this link.

To participate in the Music Video Contest, please do the following:-

1 : Take Photo or shoot a short video clip of what is going on in your life.
2: Submit your videos or photos together with your Name, IC Number, Email and contact number via:

R U Ready Facebook Page
E-mail @ contest@ruready.com.my
MMS to 36633 as follows:- RUReady<space>Full
Name<space>IC No.

Contest period: 15 August-26 September 2011. Winners will be notified via phone or email.

Remember to register to vote and Undilah in the next election!

Bersih Rally – Twitter Updates

I tweeted live from the ground during the Bersih 2.0 rally. I even posted pictures from the event. Some friends were following the event through my tweets and many retweeted my tweets. It gave me extra 2000 unique hits and 50 new Twitter followers all of a sudden.

Here are some of the tweets and pictures that I posted. The tweets below have been edited for accuracy purposes.

LRT Stations are open and trains are working
– 10:01AM

Police present heavy at Masjid Jamek stop
– 10:16AM

Roads are empty infront of Bar Council #Bersih police r everywhere

– 10:26AM

Drinking tea at a mamak behind Central Market. Filled wif police and SB. Safest place to be now I guess.
– 10:55AM

@HRDipendra said if u r infront of a FRU truck n u hear a bell,start running bcause tats a sign tat they will b launchin tear gasses #Bersih
– 10:57AM

Australia #Bersih rally flyer!

– 11:40AM

BC: As at 1140am, 238 arrested. Hang Tuah, Mahajalela, KTM st closed.Police checkin restaurants @ Brickfields
– 11:50AM

Melbourne #Bersih rally. Apparently 1K people attended.

– 11:50AM

Police presence heavy at Pasar Seni station. Many ppl standin by d roadside of Chinatown

-12:08AM

Police at Central Market. Saw them checking ICs of pedestrians

– 12:17PM

Massive crowd has reached Dayabumi chanting Reformasi!

– 12:34PM

Tear gas fired at Dataran. Crowd running away from tear gas!

– 12:38PM

The Chinese crowd has joined the Malay crowd at Petaling Street
– 12:43PM

Petaling Street crowd now

– 12:47PM

Crowd moving towards Stadium Negara via Chinatown
– 12:48PM

Huge crowd still at the Kotaraya junction #Bersih. Many onlookers

– 1:01PM

Those who just followed me, Im part of the Bar Council Monitoring team. My role is to document the #Bersih rally

– 1:01PM

Crowd congregating at d junction to Stadium Negara at Chinatown

– 1:02PM

Crowd moving out from Chinatown

– 1:08PM

Crowd is massive! I’m standin at d same place for 10 minutes n the crowd hasnt finish passin me yet!
– 1:08PM

Someone shouted, “Join the group! Fast! Don’t split!”.
– 1:19PM

Part of the #Bersih crowd in front of Menara Maybank

– 1:28PM

Crowd chantin Hidup Bersih! Hidup Kuning!

– 1:29PM

Crowd getting bigger at Maybank! Saw a new group joining the Maybank Crowd!!
– 1:30PM

Crowd has gone bigger. Bunch of tudong ladies just walked into the crowd

– 1:37PM

FRU sprays water on crowd. Crowd moving back!!
– 1:39PM

FRU shot tear gas into crowd! Had to run!! #Bersih nose feeling abit itchy now.
– 1:42PM

Offered some salt to those who got gassed. Police shot tear gas after some ppl attacked d FRU truck
– 1:46PM

Fish! Tear gas got to me. Eyes stinging. When the tear gasses were shot, some policemen guided us to a place to run
– 1:49PM

Crowd moving back to Pudu after being tear gassed
– 1:54PM

Saw a group of police running towards the crowd! May be arresting people now at Pudu. RUN!!
– 2:00PM

Police arresting those in yellow. #Bersih. Raining now. The sky weeps for Malaysia
– 2:02PM

Chaos in the city. Throngs in yellow arrested. Tear gas fired.
– 2:21PM

I stood wif d police when d shot d tear gas. D wind blew the gas back to d police. I had to run again
– 2:26PM

Those whose frens r arrested at Pudu, they may be brought to Jln Stadium police station.
– 2:29PM

Saw police running towards the crowd. More arrest will be made. This is hell.
– 2:31PM

Hentian Pudu is empty now

– 2:39PM

Heard news FRU r shooting tear gas into the vicinity of Tung Shin hospital
– 2:44PM

Crowd broken into various parts. But many heading to Stadium Negara
– 2:57PM

Crowd booing TV3 reporter! Chanting PENIPU!
– 3:00PM

Crowd infront of Stadium Bola Keranjang near Stadium Merdeka. Booing TV3 reporters.

– 3:07PM

My legs r cramped n I’m all wet.But it’s all gud wen random ppl come n say “Hidup BarCouncil” n “U guys did a good job policin d police”
– 3:17PM

Crowd is back at Chinatown again. Moving towards Central Market.

– 3:27PM

Note to self in next rallies. Wear loose pants. Can’t climb anything when pants r tight.
– 3:28PM

Crowd changed directions. Now moving towards the Chinese Assembly Hall
– 3:35PM

Crowd chilling in front of Chinese Assembly Hall. #Bersih No idea where to next.
– 3:48PM

Saw @JonsonChong, ex PKR Information Chief. One female lawyer calls him Mr. Yau Ying Lawyer.
– 3:51PM

Saw someone wearing Digi yellow tshirt. Free advertisement for them
– 3:56PM

Part of #Bersih crowd at Chinatown. No idea what is happening next. Is it over?

– 4:01PM

Crowd is dispersing. They made their point.
– 4:06PM

Police disperses crowd at Chinese Assembly Hall
– 4:10PM

Police n FRU marching towards Masjid Negara

– 4:15PM

Police did a cry to disperse at Chinese Assembly Hall and then disperse.
– 4:22PM

RT @7icia: RT @laychkoh: Peeps in London getting ready

Credits to @laychkoh
– 6:40PM

Brisbane #Bersih . Approximate 20 ppl attended. Is that all u can do Brisbane??

– 10/7/11 12:29AM

Lastly, here’s a video of the event. You can see me at 4:04.

I teared after watching this video. Must be the effect of tear gas.

Bersih 2.0 – 9.7.2011 – In the eyes of an observer

When the Bar Council issued a request for lawyers to assist in the monitoring team, I was interested to assist. When 3 of my colleagues, Himah, Jack and Dymphna signed up, I immediately joined them.

The team’s role is quite simple. We are required to document the event and assist those arrested by obtaining their details so that we can forward the details to Bar Council for further assistance. To put in this way, medics are there to attend to the poor while the lawyers are there to attend to those arrested.

Bersih 2.0 Rally is a rally organised by Bersih which comprises of civil society organisations and political parties with the objective of campaigning for clean and fair elections in Malaysia. The rally calls for 8 points namely:-

1. Clean the electoral roll
2. Reform postal ballot
3. Use of indelible ink
4. Minimum 21 days campaign period
5. Free and fair access to media
6. Strengthen public institutions
7. Stop corruption
8. Stop dirty politics

During the past 2 weeks, many things happened. Many people were arrested, Bersih was declared an illegal society and those in yellow attire were arrested. The Agong called for Government and Bersih to meet. Chairperson of Bersih and former President of Bar Council, Ambiga met the Agong and the Agong allowed the rally be held in a stadium. However, no permit was granted for the rally and request to use the National Stadium was denied.

This led to the rally being held in the city of Kuala Lumpur. Soon, the roads leading to Kuala Lumpur were blocked by Saturday midnight. However, the trains services were available.

My colleagues and I were scheduled to meet the Bar Council monitoring team at 10am hence to avoid from being stuck in a jam to the city, we decided to pull a night at DoubleTree Hotel. We got a very good rate hence the four of us shared a room.

The roads of Kuala Lumpur were empty when we arrived at Bar Council. Many roads were closed. We took the train and stopped at Masjid Jamek. Police presence was heavy there.


Wanted to plank on the streets but had no balls to.


We were regularly updated by the Bar Council on the latest events.

Dymphna and I were stationed at Jalan Tun H.S Lee. As soon as we arrived at Jalan Tun H.S Lee, we saw numerous police trucks and personnel.


Err..


Tourist..


Saw some people being detained in this Black Maria.

Few minutes later, it was reported that a crowd of 1,000 people were matching from KL Sentral towards Central Market.

As an observer, we are allowed to roam into the police’s territory. The police was nice to us. We are not allowed to take part in the procession or even make statements to the press.

When the crowd arrived, they were chanting “REFORMASI! The crowd was predominantly Malay. The road in front of Central Market was blocked hence they moved to Dataran Merdeka.


The crowd of 1,000

We returned to our station. I could see the crowd from far.

Suddenly, the police shot tear gas onto the crowd and the crowd started running towards us. We had to run as well!

As the gas was shot some distance away, the effect on us was little. But I could smell ammonia.


Some came prepared

The crowd moved towards Petaling Street (Chinatown) and was soon joined by the Chinese crowd from Petaling Street. Someone on twitter said that the Indians were still hungover.

Soon, the crowd swelled in Chinatown. It was so huge that it took more than 10 minutes for the crowd to pass me. It was peaceful and like a carnival.


Some were carrying flowers.


Balloons were thrown around.

Some people took pictures as if they were attending a party. The crowd was multiracial.

When the crowd moved to Hentian Pudu, the drama started. It was a joyful and loud crowd. It soon grew bigger when it was joined by another massive crowd. It was so huge that I couldn’t see the end. Certainly more than 6,000 people, the number claimed by the police.


We stood by the hillside of Menara Maybank and a good view of the crowd. The chants and roars were so loud that it gave me goose bumps. It brought people of all races together. It was unity of all the races. No multi-million dollars 1Malaysia project can bring Malaysians to this level.

Suddenly, a FRU truck sprayed water at the crowd. I could see one person trying to restrain the crowd from retaliating.


This person was carrying a Malaysian flag. Berita Minggu said that he carried a knife.


But soon, a group of people attacked the truck and that is when the police fired tear gas on to the crowd again.

We immediately ran for cover. A policeman guided us out from the building. He didn’t leave although the gas was heading towards him. I am grateful for his help.

My eyes started to tear. I washed my face with mineral water and offered salt to anyone who needs it. But I wasn’t the only one with salt, many people were offering each other with salt, water or any form of help.

The effect to my eyes after being tear gassed is like having onion rubbed into my eyes. I couldn’t stop crying. Breathing was difficult too.


Even a monk was caught in the melee

We rested at the back lane of Menara Maybank for a while and went back to Hentian Pudu again. The crowd got pushed behind. A group of police then rushed towards the crowd and I heard one policeman shouting, “Catch those in yellow!”. People started running and I saw some people jumping off cliffs to escape.


Some people were pushed to the ground and are tied with plastic

We immediately offered assistance those who were arrested and took down their names to be forwarded to the Bar Council to assist them later. The police allowed us to do so without any interruptions.


Those arrested

We thought it will be safe with the police but when they started firing tear gas again, the wind blew and the gas hit us. We had to run again!

Fortunately, it started to rain heavily. The sky was crying for Malaysia.


Hentian Pudu was empty

We rested at Menara Maybank for a while. We bumped into some other volunteer lawyers and we gathered to move to Stadium Negara. Many of us lost our group members.

Soon, we were joined by more lawyers and moved towards Stadium Negara. At this time. I heard news of people being stuck in Tung Shin Hospital and tear gas was fired into the hospital.

Just as I thought the crowd died down, the crowd at Stadium Negara was massive. They were moving towards Chinese Assembly Hall.


Many shops were closed but KK Super Market opened its doors.


I bet this ice cream seller’s sales shot up to 1000%. I also bet he prays for a rally every day.


The crowd allowed a taxi to go through. What violence?


TV3 reporters being booed by the crowd. At one point, they chanted, “PENIPU (Liar)”.


Smart way to move.

After being with the crowd for a while, I realize that these people were just like us. Some were students, professionals, employees, businessmen and housewives. Anyone can be a part of this rally. Even though many of the organisers of Bersih were arrested, the rally went on. Some people travelled into the city without any knowledge of the actual plan.


Photographers found a good spot to take pictures


Me.

By 4pm, the crowd started to dispersed at Chinese Assembly Hall. The police suddenly appeared and chased after the crowd and the crowd ran helter-skelter. The lawyers stayed on to witness the attack.

We then followed the police and minutes later, we witnessed their cry of disperse. It was all over for us.


We went back to the Bar Council for debriefing.

Over 1,400 people were arrested (later released) and 2 people died. One from breathing difficulty and another one from being hit by a tear gas canister. RIP.

In the end of the day, I was tear gassed, all wet, had legs cramp and sun burn. But it was all good when random people came up to me to shouting “Hidup Bar Council!” and “You guys did a good job policing the police!”.

I am proud to have served the civil society. A change is all we need.

Note: This post does not represent the views of the Bar Council or its monitoring team. All views and errors are mine.

Nasi Lemak 2.0

Last year, controversial Malaysian Namewee posted a video about his efforts of getting government funding for his movie. His application for funding was rejected simply on the grounds that it is not a Malay language movie hence not eligible for funding.

He sought the help of various politicians to overcome this rule but it was all in vain. He now seeks the help of the Prime Minister to overcome this problem. His journey is documented in the videos below.

His journey moved me to tears. It is a simply story on what non Malays have to do to achieve their goals in Malaysia. We, the non Bumiputeras and the “kaum pendatang”, can all relate to this. Our parents or seniors have instilled hard work and determination into us. Where we are today is due to the Government’s policies.

Hats off to Namewee for highlighting this to the world.

Related Post: What do the Chinese want?