Bersih-3.0

280412 Bersih 3.0 rally

hi, this Saturday was another event for me. i never really liked our corrupted government, so here’s the result. ‘Bersih’ means clean in Malay, the whole thing is all about cleaner governments and fair electoral reforms. i’ve been attending Bersih ever since i stumbled upon it in 2007. here’s the past rallies, Bersih 2.0 and the speeches by Dato’ Ambiga.

for 428, i set off on my own because i was worried that large groups might attract attention. to my surprise, people weren’t even hiding their yellow shirts anymore. that shows how angry they actually are at the government.

i went to Masjid Jamek, the prime gathering point before heading towards the main place; Dataran Merdeka. the police have already said nobody is to march there and the number of people who show up = the number of people who don’t give a shit about government threats. muy bueno.

dat shit be cray because when i went to last year’s gathering, it didn’t fill up an entire city.

a fellow supporter was kind enough to take this photo for me. (he climbed up on the lamp post, holyshit)

a car with the leaders slowly made it’s way past the blockades towards the Dataran.. lots of fun stuff happened here because there were homemade balloons and blimps made for Lynas (the green coalition that joined us this year) and Bersih.

my favourite picture of the batch. kudos to the flag makers.

unfortunately this year there were a lot of new inexperienced people and some of them were troublemakers aka overfuckingdramatic. i hate politically gung ho people who have no idea what they’re doing and go violent in a PEACEFUL MARCH. screw those shit for brains. thanks to them, the police fired canisters of tear gas and i was like OH SHIT NOT AGAIN.

only this time it was more difficult to escape because there were so many people, like triple? my eyes burned like HELLLLLLL

i wrapped my face in a mask and continued to take photos and record video. my face and arm really burned and i got bruises on my arms too.

this time the police shot more than 5 canisters each time without warning. they also doubled the number of helicopters surrounding the premises.

unknown to most people, this is my drug dealer face. hello, buy my we- i mean chrysanthemum flowers.

HAL is a rally virgin but he takes wonderful photos + videos. the blurberry and laptop are VETERANS this year. people used the laptop for charging their phones, including my friends from ze agency. fuckyeah post rally tea time because we’re stuck in the city thanks to tear gassing cops at every road opening.

i actually have like 1000000 photos but i’m uploading the rest to FB. these are the things i used for the rally today. having several phones and a camera is useful but it’s hell to gather photos later on. the flower and ribbon were given by fellow supporters.

i also had to miss a meeting with my client today. when he heard i was at the rally he said “YOU CRAZY GIRL PLEASE STAY SAFE”. i love my life, honestly. it’s been a very inspiring week for me. 

I PROMISE I’LL WORK ON THE COMMISSIONS NOW. april has been hectic for me. stay classy and have a great weekend 8D

The Leak in the Palace

Last year, for BERSIH2.0, Sharon made a series of awesome posters. This year she was too busy – so you’ll just have to settle for something by little old me. Prepare to be underwhelmed.

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THE LEAK IN THE PALACE

Shortly after he was installed, our new di-Pertuan Agong moved his royal person, his royal family, and all the offices of his royal court and household into the new National Palace.

The new National Palace wasn’t precisely new. It was completed last year. But our previous ruler – now once again merely the Sultan of Terengganu – had refused to take up residence there.

“What is wrong with the old palace?” he’d asked. “I’m happy where I am, and it’s such a bother to move.”

Perhaps someone had told him how much the new National Palace cost, and our former majesty had balked at the figure, which contained eight zeroes. He was widely reputed to be a frugal man, where his own money was concerned; and a good enough man, when it came to the tax money of his subjects.

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Bersih 3.0: Online Resistance and Malaysia's Digital Hidden Transcript

Photo credit: Australian National University

I just finished my exams for this semester! Yay! It also means I’ve completed all the undergrad requirements to get into Honours, so assuming I don’t fail any of my Arts subjects this semester, I’m going to spend next year conducting some Serious Political Research (as opposed to the frivolity of these past three years…).

But talking about Serious Political Research, I just wanted to share my final research paper for the pre-Honours unit I did this semester, Power (yes, that’s the name of the unit. Talk about short and sweet). It examines the Bersih 3.0 rally held in Kuala Lumpur on April 28 this year, and how it managed to garner the extent of local and international support it did. I really wanted to post it here because I don’t think there’s enough rigorous academic analysis of Bersih 3.0 out there yet, so hopefully my essay can help shed some light on what happened that day, and why.

Thanks to my parents for their support while I was writing this; especially Dad for taking out a one-month subscription to Malaysia Kini, just for my assignment. 

Enjoy! 

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Things you see in Bersih 3.0

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Although this wasn’t my first time to a protest, it was my first time to a Bersih protest and to be honest, I was pretty excited and scare at the same time.

When I depart from Sunway at 9.30pm, there wasn’t much to see but once the bus headed to Kelana Jaya LRT station drive into Petaling Jaya, I started seeing some cars with passengers and drivers dressing up in YELLOW or GREEN. When I saw this, immediately I knew I wasn’t alone anymore.

I took the LRT to KLCC quite often during the weekends and usually it wasn’t that pack but today, it is all yellow and green. I notice a lot of youngsters are going as well.

Today everyone is everybody’s friends. 

I had a short conversation with one uncle around the age of 50 plus in the LRT. Although he didn’t join the rally, he wishes me good luck and stay safe when I exit the LRT. *personally after the rally I think it is a good thing the uncle didn’t join the rally because it was very difficult to breath for a youth like me when the FRU throw the tear gas at us.*

People in GREEN, YELLOW and even RED had gathered along Jalan Ampang at KLCC this morning and started marching towards Dataran Merdeka around 11 something. I didn’t notice many police traffic except in a few places. However, the protesters still manage to march safely with volunteers wearing in red guiding the traffics and the march. 

Drivers honk when they saw the group march by, and the crowd cheer back to them. Everyone was so unite and doing the same thing, which you don’t see this often in here.

We managed to get in front of the barrier during the rally and saw quite a few things like a few people throwing water bottle or hitting the police truck when it pass by. But luckily things didn’t go wrong when I was there because there are people from behind shouting to the crowd not to throw things towards the police.

“Don’t throw! Don’t give the police an excuse to arrest you!” a guy shouted.

The rally changed me in some way.

All these time, I heard a lot of people saying things you will see in the rally but this are all just from listening. But  after experiencing Bersih 3.0, I strongly agreed with what they said.

Strangers become friends in the protest. You can just talk to any strangers and they are friendly.

Everyone help and care for everyone despite race, age, or religion. There are people offering water, salt, mask and ice to people who seems to be having difficulty after experiencing the tear gas. *I had not experience the water cannon so I can’t comment much about that.*

I felt so touch by their actions. People are asking anyone who pass by whether they need salt or not. some even offer us (I went with my classmate) water after the tear gas were shoot towards our direction. There are also people comforting others “it is alright, don’t worry”.

For the first time, I felt really lucky that I’m a girl, because the people were like, “ladies first.” in the 7-11 when everyone is trying to get a drink or refreshment from there.

A young guy approached me for some salt and after some time while I was sitting by the roadside with my classmate, he saw us and came to thank us for the salt. I was a bit shock to see this. That in the mist of chaos, he still can recognise us.

Although it wasn’t comfortable at all to get hit by tear gas and so on. I will never regret deciding to go for the rally and I will never forget how I felt and see in this event. The burning I felt in my nose and throat, the pain that caused my tears to drop, it is all worth it because of what I had seen.

Everyone is so unite in the rally. Somehow from here, I began to believe there are actually still a lot of polite people like this in Malaysia.

Should LGBT's Join Bersih?

I’m guessing that is the main question that runs through the mind of the people who are preparing to either head to Dataran Merdeka or not this coming weekend. The truth is, I have been personally wrestling with this agenda for the past few weeks since I have yet to make my mind up until the writing of this article.

After all, I was in Bersih 2.0 as you can read my account of it on Loyarburok. And my agenda for walking then was truly clear. I walked for free and fair elections, with the idea that such elections would definitely push forth the need for open discussion on issues concerning myself and about 10 percent of the Malaysian population, which is the LGBT community.

The reason I personally want to push for free and fair elections is for the need for intellectual discourse from both sides, the pro-LGBT and the anti-LGBT, to garner some form of survey as to why hate groups (and yes, they are hate groups) such as the Jaringan Melayu Malaysia exist at all. The truth of the matter is they exist solely to try and link Bersih, the call for free and fair elections, and it’s organisers, particularly Dato’ Ambiga and Dato’ A Samad Said, to the LGBT movement.

As such, would my presence, in a pink t-shirt and blue jeans at Dataran Merdeka this coming weekend be construed as how JMM could be right?

It is a rather ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’ argument, but then again Malaysians don’t speak Latin, do they?

They probably wouldn’t even bother to Google what the hell that means.

The LGBT community, and myself personally, are more than just a bunch of gays waving rainbow flags marching for freedom. We are also made of every race, every religious denomination, every political faction be it UMNO or PAS, and in fact, we come from multiple levels of the corporate ladder, be it the lowly executive to the blue collar factory workers or even those who establish businesses as entrepreneurs, more so in the creative industry which Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak has recently encouraged the youth of the nation to be more participatory in.

As such, we are subsequently also taxpayers who have an increasing share to how this country is being run. And we are beginning to acknowledge this fact, whether the government or it’s hateful supposed non-government organisations wish to acknowledge.

It is with this in mind that I think the LGBTs need to join Bersih 3.0. We need to acknowledge at first, however, the fact that we do own this country and hold stake in this country of ours just like the rest of the Malaysian population. And as such, do we not want free and fair elections?

Do we not want the ability to tell our future Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeris and Ahli Parlimen to stop violence and abuse of LGBTs?

To stop the bullying and hatemongering both by the schools, the religious authorities, and consequentially, the government themselves?

You see, fellow gays, queers and transgender mak nyahs, we all can have that ability if we make our voices heard and tell the government “you know what, I am the bapok’s, kaum nabi Lut, orang berseks songsang” that you talk about, but I’m more than that. I’m a registered voter, a tax payer, a student who will be working in this country in the future and contribute to the shitty economy that you guys screwed up.

I am the ones who go out to Pavillion to fill up your malls and buy your luxury goods which are 100 percent taxed on import duties. I am the one who spends my money on the alcohol tax, the entertainment tax, the sales tax.

I am also the ones driving those shitty made local Perodua and Proton cars which you sell at RM40,000 plus minimum in order to keep them afloat and sell at a cheaper price overseas.

The LGBT community, if we could have a survey right now, spends more in their lifetime promoting the sales of luxury goods, automobiles, and perhaps even local tourism. We also spend more on fashion products, be it what is labeled Islamic and such, and are in fact the ones who promote tourism by getting foreigners to come to the country to enjoy the sights and sounds (and boys) of KL to the rest of the world.

Like it or not, whether Ng Yen Yen wishes to mention it, pink tourism and pink dollars are a growing market. And ipso facto, so is the visibility of the rainbow coalition.

While the rest of the world and in fact, the cyber gaming world, has normalised homosexuality, Malaysians are left behind because gays are harangued by the stigma that somehow we caused earthquakes and turned people into salt. While the former could have been a sex romp gone wrong, we are not exactly capable of shaking the world like Carole King.

As such, I will be at Dataran Merdeka on April 28 to show that I am more than just a gay man. I am a voter and I sure as hell want a free and fair election so that we can advance to a Malaysia where we can live as who we are; overtly happy people who can go around openly without being threatened and cowed because the closet cases don’t have the guts to do so.