I woke up on 28th April with a hope to bring change to my country, Malaysia. It was a rainy morning in Hong Kong. But as the organiser has said it loud and clear, the show must go on. It will only be called off if there’s Typhoon, Signal 8.
Days before the event took place, I found myself wrestling with my thoughts. I finally succumbed to the fact that I must be part of this historic event. And not just sit at home to watch the post Bersih 3.0 footages while I quietly regret in my heart that I have not done my part for our future, my children’s future and the future of all Malaysian. I was trying to convince my other half to join as well, but he procrastinated and in the end I tasked him to take care of the kids at home while I walk the talk.
Bersih 3.0 HK Edition meeting place as at Causway Bay, SOGO. I met up with Peggy (that so happened came to HK for holiday) earlier to have a quick lunch. Then we walked towards SOGO entrance and it was only 1:45pm, but the crowd was noticeable from far. Everyone were clad in yellow, the Bersih official colour.
The organiser expected about 100 people turn up at the event. But the final count apparently, there were 400 people!! Amazing!!
Everyone look very excited. Some travelled as far as from Southern China to participate in this memorable event. They couldn’t get their permit on time, but nevertheless made the effort to come all the way to HK. Someone was seen selling the Bersih T-shirt and they were quickly snapped up by rally’s participants. Obviously some were busy snapping photos for each other. People from all walks of life was there. It was as though we are going for a carnival instead of a rally.
At 2:00pm, we moved forward to a cordoned area that the police has prepared for us where we stood there and sang our National anthem with pride. I’ve never felt so proud singing this song together with our fellow countrymen. Then the leader came and gave a speech about today’s rally. Why we are doing this? It is not about politics. It’s about a clean and fair election. It’s about the people’s voice to be heard. And though we are many miles away from Malaysia, it doesn’t mean that we would not be bothered about what is happening back home.
One of the things he talked about that touched me was when he mentioned that alot of people whom has migrated overseas challenged why they need to care about Malaysia and what is happening since they are not there. But that is so wrong. Doesn’t mean we are not there we will not be affected. Don’t forget our parents are there. Our siblings are there. We still need to pay tax for our house in Malaysia although we don’t pay our income tax there. So we do need to care!! And someday, we will return home, when the time comes. But for now, let us continue to fight for the rights of our brothers and sisters at home.
It was a very long talk. He finished his speech in English, then someone shouted, Bahasa please. So he started repeating his speech in Bahasa. Then someone requested for Mandarin version, and he quickly obliged. And of course, we must have the Cantonese version since we are all in HK. And finally, someone requested for Hokkien version, and he did!! Everyone laughed when he spoke in Hokkien. We are truly a multilingual country. But no matter what language we speak, our voice must be heard that day. That a fair and clean election is what we demand for.
At 3:00pm, we lined up to form a long line and started marching. Together with us was a team of police officers, deployed to ensure our safety and assist the rally itself. They led us all the way from Causeway Bay right up to the Malaysia Embassy at Gloucester Road at Wan Chai. They stopped the cars and let us pass by the roads leaading to Wan Chai. From time to time we were reminded to walk inside so that we won’t be hit by cars. We chanted “Ah Shuir Hou Yeh” to the policemen for being so supportive, unlike the ones back home that layed barbed wires and refuse to let our countrymen to sit in at Dataran Merdeka.
As we walk, we sang our Negaraku. We sang Setia. We chanted “Hidup Bersih”. We chanted “Hidup Rakyat”. We chanted “Bersih, Bersih”. We chanted “Malaysia Boleh!!”. It was these moments that remind us that no matter where we are, how old we are and who we are at the end of the day we are all united as 1, 1Malaysia. And together we will rally for a better tomorrow.
One of the man was the leader that guide us with the chanting. At one point of a time, he ran out of his voice and we all laughed. But quickly someone took over and it continued. That was how strong the spirit was.
We finally reached the Malaysia Embassy after walking for 45mins and the guards were standing there, refuse to let us in. The police requested us to spread the crowd within the left and right of the embassy and ensure that we were not blocking the road. Again we sang Negaraku. Then the leader read out the memorandum that they want to pass to the Consulate. Some of us wrote our name on the memorandum as well.
At first the guard refused to open the door for us to pass the memorandum and spike off some concern among the group. Then we started chanting “Buka Pintu” to request them to open the door and finally they did. The Consulate quickly grab the memorandum and the guard closed the door. They were so afraid that we would start a riot. But seriously, we are there for peace, not for riot. If we wanted to start a riot, we would have done it along the way. And at that very moment as well, someone announced that they started shooting tear gas and water cannon in KL and we all jeered as loud as we could, condemning the act of our police and FRU units back home. Why has it gotta end with such an ugly sight despite a peaceful rally.
The rally ended at 4:00pm and we all thanked the police for being there with us. They’ve done a great job to ensure our safety. And someday we hope that police back home would do the same as the police in HK. Those would be the days where we will not live in fear of racial riots and rally. Those would be the days where police and citizens would rally together for a good cause. Those would be the days of a true democratic country. I would live to tell my children that I was part of the historical event that lead us to a true democratic country. And let us all hope that, that day would come soon.
Here are some photos taken on that day.
More photos are uploaded on my Facebook.