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I Got Tear Gassed

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I Got Tear Gassed

Posted by Simon Templar On Saturday, July 09, 2011 18 comments

What a day! After all the pre-event nonsense by Najib & Gang, 9 July 2011 has finally arrived. You bet that I’ll be there.

Getting into KL city centre proved to be as nightmarish as I expected it to be. First I had to survive the massive road blockage at the Subang toll plaza along Federal Highway. (Had to take Federal Highway as NKVE was a no go). The police officers were just rubbish. How can they actually differentiate who’s going to the Bersih 2.0 rally and who’s not? Were they expecting us to be happily clad in yellow? It is clear that their intention is simply to cause inconvenience to the public. Most of the time, they just stand by the side and let the cars pass in a single file.

Traffic was crystal clear from then onwards. Then came another road block right after the Sunway exit. But kudos to Malaysians. Everyone was surprisingly very patient. No silly cutting in here, cutting in there like normal days. It seems that if you are on the road today, you are already mentally prepared for the slowdown.

Turned into NPE and we decided to change our meeting point from Times Square to the KTM KL Railway Station. Parked my car at the Petaling Komuter Station. When the train came… oh my oh my… the sardine packed coaches…

(Note: I’ve not hopped on our public train in a long long time. Hehe… Yah, kinda spoilt with the ‘own transport’ way of life).

Managed to get myself in with the coach door closing right at my butt. A large number of the passengers were on their way to the Bersih 2.0 rally too. Brilliant! People were openly exchanging latest news with each another.

I finally got into KL some 2.5 hours after I left home. I survived the blockages and hurdles! People, next time stop giving excuses, if you have the will you will get there. And I bet a huge score of people took a much longer time to get into KL. Think of the out-stationers. Hats off to them.

From the KTM Station, I followed the crowd who were walking towards Klang Bus Station/Pasar Seni LRT Station, then Jalan Sultan and then Kota Raya/Pudu Bus Station hotspot. And that’s when I first got into the ‘action’. The crowd had gathered in numbers. And PDRM greeted my arrival with shots of tear gas. How nice of them. Helter skelter ensued la. Took refuge at Hotel Ancasa entrance where I met up with fellow blog author, Neo.

It was about 2.00 pm and then the rain started. It was raining cats and dogs. Adui… Why la today… And the organizers got us moving towards Stadium Merdeka. Talk about soaked wet. Bersih 2.0 was turning into a wet t-shirt contest.

(Note: Ladies, next time please try to not come for an open rally in white. Malaysia is well known for heavy downpours. Not very decent when you are all soaked wet in white).

The rally was really multi-racial. Am very surprised. I did not expect to see the Chinese coming out in numbers. We know the spirited Malays are always up for it. The Indians too; as they have shown in the past. But the Chinese turnout was fantastic. Well done! It was a truly Bangsa Malaysia rally. And of all ages too. Countless aunties and uncles, makciks and pakciks. Am very heartened that the 20s and 30s took it upon them to leave the air-conds (as I did) and iPads (as I did) to jointly show the might of the rakyat. Najib & Gang, you guys seriously have to wake up. Malaysia is a little different today from 10 years ago.

(Note: Some parents thought it fit to make the rally a family event and brought along their little ones. The intention is good but I would advise against it. We are all very civilized and well behaved, but there is always 'them' who fire tear gas at us for no reason whatsoever. And it causes panic and a mad scramble for fresh air).

As we walked towards Stadium Merdeka, smaller groups joined us from junctions and the number just get larger and larger. I wouldn’t know how to put a figure to the headcount but it was a lot. (Definitely not 6,000 a certain figure-challenged IGP claim lor...)

Everything was in a very orderly manner. Why the surrounding shops shut business is beyond me. For heaven’s sake, what do you take us to be? We are not Perkasa’s thugs or Umno ‘Mat Rempit’ Youth. We are the very people you sell your goods to everyday. And you fear us now? There were some smart traders selling drinks and ice-creams and I bet you they all made a little fortune for themselves today. And the 7-11s too. Who dare steal even a bottle of mineral water? Do you know how many of us were out there on the streets? We can patrol ourselves better than the police will ever be. There wasn’t even any pushing or shoving around the stores and stalls. Yes, that is how civilize we are. Hidup rakyat!

Oh and the chants! Endless “Hidup Hidup”, Hidup Rakyat”, “Bersih Bersih” “Hidup Bersih”. Some got creative and even started singing Rasa Sayang, Jingling Nona… Soaked wet we may be, but our spirits were never dampen. The crowd just gets you going. There were simply so many ‘semangat’ fellas around, somebody will start something when things seem to slowdown.

Failing to get into Stadium Merdeka, we got moving to Central Market. It is fun when you move in numbers. You can really feel the power of the people. Sorry folks… It is non-describable. You can read, you can see the videos, but you’ll never feel it unless you are there. Nobody cares what colour your skin is. Nobody cares what your religion is. Nobody cares where you come from. We are simply... the rakyat.

When we got to the Central Market area, the police were already there waiting. We were just hanging around waiting for the next wave of marchers to join us. And then the barbarians started shooting tear gas at us. For what? We weren’t even doing anything.

At about 3.40pm, Wong Chin Huat decided to end our side of the rally. He climbed on an elevated structure and was trying to deliver the ending message to us and I was standing right in front of him. At this point, we were at the junction of Jalan Sultan and Jalan Hang Kasturi (where Klang Bus Station and Pasar Seni LRT Station are). Here we were, getting a "go home" message and the barbarians started shooting tear gas canisters at us again. Those blardie idiots! They don’t shoot into empty space to prevent you from moving forward. They shoot right into the crowd for god knows what sadistic reasons. I saw a canister flew past us into Level 1 of Klang Bus Station behind us. I turned around and saw a canister headed straight at us; leaving a comet like trail in its flying path. It landed a couple of metres from me. There was no mistake that I was at ground zero of a landed sting bomb. Stinging gas particles rapidly fought us head on for airspace. Martha-farking-bitch it hurts. We ran for fresh air. Oh it blardie hurts! I held my breath earlier but the throat burns. The mouth burns. Somehow the gas didn’t get my eyes (tear gas not hurting my eyes? hmmm…). The upper lips burns. The pain… Fark! Fark! Fark!

Some experienced rally-ers were handing out salt, took some and I felt better a while later. But the pain still lingers.

We were now pushed further back of the Pasar Seni LRT stop. Wong Chin Huat finally gave his thank you speech and ended with Negaraku. And the chantings of course. "Hidup Rakyat".

The crowd refused to leave. Everyone continued to linger under the Pasar Seni LRT station. Maybe we were expecting more. As we were ‘loitering’ beneath the LRT station, the darn coppers came charging at us. They started shooting rounds and rounds of tear gas at us… into the under-belly of the LRT stations. And they came charging trying to nab us. What the fark? Sudah bersurai lah. Cannot just hang around is it? There was no longer any chanting whatsoever. I would say that most people were just taking a rest or figuring out how to get home. We may be at an LRT station, but the trains are skipping the station. And they attacked us! Blardie idiots la the men in blue.

The group finally moved towards Sentral and dispersed.

We may not have been able to get all supporters at 1 place to show our united number and might. We may not have been able to hand over the petition to the DYMM Agong. But the objectives of Bersih 2.0 had already been achieved days ago. Najib & Gang were plain stupid to have fallen right into the pithole. We all knew that EC is never going to give a damn about whatever we are seeking. Bersih 2.0 has further shown the people how evil the BN government is and can be. Bersih 2.0 has convinced more people that a change in government is needed for this country. Scores of fence-sitters have now swung away from BN. Many of us are still not convinced by Pakatan Rakyat but more Malaysians now believe in the need for a 2 party system. And for that, the tyranny of BN has to end.

It's really funny that had Najib allowed for the Bersih 2.0 rally, the fence sitters would have given him a chance to proof his reforms and agendas. After all, he would have been seen to be democratic, moderate and fair. But he chose to suppress the rakyat in the most ungentlemanly behaviour full to the brim with untrustworthiness and indignity.

Isn't it ironic how Najib and his 'less than bright' cousin have main-casted their own downfalls.

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