Monday, April 30, 2012

BERSIH 3.0 MELBOURNE

 
Saturday saw me at Federation Square in Melbourne CBD with my sister for the Bersih 3.0 Melbourne. It was a last minute decision to join the rally and definitely no regrets for being there.

Last year, I was upset for missing Bersih 2.0 but this year, I am really glad to have made the effort to be a part of a global movement.

Upon reaching there, I didn't know what to expect. And perhaps, no or less expectations guarantees a good experience. We reached Federation Square by 2pm and there was a crowd. As the hour progressed, the crowd grew mainly made up of Malaysians and a few other bystanders that were probably wondering what the big gathering was all about.


After all, we were congregated right next to the tourist information centre! Hopefully, we weren't obstructing traffic which was good that one of the speakers did mention for those seated and standing around those areas not to block other people's path.

On my left, I heard a few young people wearing the Bersih 3.0 yellow shirt explaining to those that asked what the crowd was all about.

Duduk Bantah 


Compared to the circus went wrong that happened back home in Malaysia, the Melbourne rally was pretty peaceful and eventful. Despite there being no drama, it was a good and heartfelt rally. I felt a sense of patriotism for my home country, Malaysia. It was there at Federation Square on 28th April 2012 that us, Malaysians unite in a foreign country for our own country, for a better future, for a clean and fair election.
 
  
It was said that Melbourne was the biggest overseas BERSIH rally held outside of Malaysia. About 1250 of us were there despite the forecast of rain. To sidetrack, Melbourne is known for it's erratic-four-seasons-in-a-day weather and one has to always check the weather forecast before heading out of home. For a few moments, the sky was pretty doom and gloom bearing bad news. Interestingly enough, Mr. Sun came out and conquered the skies shining ever brightly for us.

Just because we left Malaysia, it did not mean we no longer cared. Just look at the amount of people in the above pictures. And it is not necessarily true that everyone who leaves Malaysia for another country, leaves by choice. Some leave because of parents' wishes or their very own, deeming an overseas education or work and life exposure as beneficial. A smarter decision for a better future. Some just want their kids to have a better life, better opportunities what with the ruckus going on right now in our  beloved Malaysia.


Some people like me, we left to be with our partners. Long distance does crazy things to each individual and as much as we wish it brings out the best in us, often times, sadly, it brings out a side in us we never knew we had.

That being said, whatever the reason may be, we left. But like I said before, just because we left, it doesn't mean we cease to care. Curiously enough, I read up on Malaysia news more than I do of Australia. In fact, leaving Malaysia has made me missed it terribly, the good and the bad. Leaving Malaysia and everything familiar behind helped me appreciate Malaysia even more and even learning Malay! 
 
 
 


And for those who really don't give two hoots anymore about Malaysia, then you should START caring. Even if you and your immediate families are now somewhere 'better' than Malaysia, don't forget, other loved ones are left behind. 


That is what BERSIH 3.0 is all about... asking for a CLEAN and FAIR election in order for us, the citizens of Malaysia to be able to vote with certainty that the next ruling government will be chosen BY the people and FOR the people. 

Is that so much to ask? Is it such a difficult request that our PM, Najib scoffs and says the silly things he says and expects the world to believe? Come on lar.. the people ain't dumb. And it's high time he and the rest of the clowns 'running' the show stop treating us as idiots. Wonder when that day will come though.

I want my right to vote too even if I am living in Malaysia!!

There were a few speakers that day and one of them was Ambiga's own son, Goku! He spoke fairly well and also the guy in dark rimmed specs, think his name is David, engaged and related with the crowd. 

There were 8 demands to be looked into in last year's BERSIH 2.0 rally:
1) Clean the electoral roll
2) Reform postal ballot
3) Use of indelible ink
4) Minimum 21 days campaigning period
5) Free and fair access to media
6) Strengthen public institutions
7) Stop corruption
8) Stop dirty politics

Sad to say, up-to-date, only one demand has been granted: use of indelible ink. And as can be read in cyberspace, a lot of speculations about the BERSIH 3.0 Kuala Lumpur debacle is afloat. What really happened that the peaceful rally spiraled out of control? Fingers are pointing. Claims have been made.

At the end of the day, irregardless ruling party or opposition, the person who is guilty of throwing things, jumping on police cars, starting the riot, all should be held accountable for their actions. Then again, this is reality. So, chances are, these goons will go scot free.

The highlight of this rally for me was when we sang Negaraku, Malaysia's national anthem to conclude the rally. I haven't sang it since graduating high school but the words just came naturally to me. 

Before that, about 3pm after one of the speakers spoke and there were pauses in between, giving me the thoughts that the rally was coming to an end. I don't know why but I shouted across the top of the sitting crowd to my sister's embarrassment "SING NEGARAKU!!". 

Only those around me heard it and turned around to see who was the crazy chick shouting. Lols. Ok. I admit, after doing that impulsively, my cheeks were slightly hot with maluness (embarassment). But oh well, I survived. :)

 
  
I wear yellow because Electoral Commission (EC) is a dirty fellow!!


I'll upload several clips here in another post of that day. I gather other blogs or people can outline the day better and with more details but I am just here to say what the day meant to me and how being here is important to me and it should be for ALL the other Malaysians who weren't here. 

There are SO many  more Malaysians in Melbourne that didn't attend the rally but I guess, shopping, watching movies and what not are better time spent on... sadly. I don't blame them. Sometimes, the feeling that nothing will change is consensus but if we keep thinking that way then, nothing will change.

So, here's to wishing that there will be a change for the better, that there won't be a need for BERSIH 4.0 and even if there is, that at least, half the demands will be met! 

And even if it isn't, then, fellow Malaysians, wherever you are, I implore you to PLEASE, PLEASE know and exercise your right at the next election. Those who have not registered to vote, please do so. Even if you can't vote this round, register so that you can vote at the next election. Every vote counts! 

Tell your family, your friends and their children and grandchildren who are eligible to do so and also educate the younger ones on why it is important to stand up for one's country and what we should do.

Change can only happen when we are united. And change always begin with us, ourselves.

6 comments:

Ph1l1p said...

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Li Ean said...

Saw your post on innit!

I wish I could have attended. but I had work that day :(
my dad went to the one in malaysia and he says he was quite close to where they tear gassed the people! but luckily he wasn't hurt.

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goingkookies said...

Li Ean :I think the KL one is definitely more potential for dangers where else the ones overseas were peaceful.

Thank God your dad was ok. I saw the news and many were hurt that it was really sad that a peaceful rally wasn't possible.

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