By the looks of it, the road to BERSIH…will be a long and bloody one. We had similar ones before … Batu Buruk, Bloody Sunday…the list goes on. We should not be surprise at the sirens flashing (Malaysiakini).

November is probably the month for blood baths…with the keris stabbing the air, end of the year cleansing and housekeeping, bonuses round the corner…the police, too, want to be patted on the back and told that they had done a great job..syabas, oi!

I am reminded of a similar gathering in November 2000. It was really a massive one along the Shah Alam Kesas highway. It was also another people’s gathering led by the Opposition. Anwar was still in prison then. And the rally was meant to ask for Mahathir’s resignation. I wasn’t there as a participant but a reporter.

At the end, I ended up being witness No. 10 for Suhakam people’s tribunal. I witnesed horrifying sights of demonstrators sprayed with tear gas. For those who have never tasted tear gas, the experience is far from titillating. It’s bitter + suffocating. Urggh… In time, we learnt how to overcome it. Bring wet towels, masks and goggles. Bring blankets, umbrellas, if you must. These tools will come in handy when you are fleeing the bitter rain.

Oh, yes…don’t forget bottles of mineral water…to wash away the muck on your face.

Of course, I also witnessed dispersing protestors being chased like criminals by FRU personnels and beaten with batons. Some were caught, dragged with head and arms bleeding, and chucked into the Black Marias. The next morning, newspapers called them “rioters”.

And while all these were happening, plain clothes policemen vandalised vehicles parked by the road side. I would advice those of you who are planning on joining the rally to park your vehicles far, far away. They have no mercy, I tell you. They smashed windows, cut tires with sharp and long metal instruments in their hands and ripped open the front bonnets, to dismantle the security alarms. All these happenned before my eyes.

There were agent provocateurs too, who were ready, to divert attention and cause a choas. Try not to get distracted by these planted god-forsaken creatures less you be misled into the paths of hell.

Whatever it is, the long and bloody road is worth every effort.

But those who are able to participate must not be so arrogant to judge those who can’t be there. You must not pre-judge people’s commitment to free and fair elections by the mere attendance or participation at a rally. I see so many people do this and its not very nice.

You see, in time you’ll know, we all have different roles to play. Even now, those sitting on government seats but who are very much on our side.

So pull up your socks, fill your knapsacks with towels, goggles, masks, blankets, mineral water and rally on with the people’s march.

I wish you all the best.

25 responses »

  1. whispering9 says:

    ‘But those who are able to participate must not be so arrogant to judge those who can’t be there. You must not pre-judge people’s commitment to free and fair elections by the mere attendance or participation at a rally. I see so many people do this and its not very nice.’

    I love these lines. Wars and causes are can only be won with the help of unseen people who can’t be there at the front. They are usually the unsung heroes who make that difference between winning or losing.

  2. KTemoc says:

    another great piece, Susan

  3. Harrison Bin Hansome says:

    Thanks 4 the tips Sue. It’s an opportunity tomorow for the Men In Blue to unleash their wrath on anyone they like. Don’t worry, I am slippery. This will be my last post for today. Heading to the airport now. Susan’s blog is among the hottest and most read in Malaysia. That is for sure even if she applied the moderation mode.

    *Bring cameras, or cellphone embedded with video recordings. It will be useful. See u there. It’s fun too.

  4. penangkia says:

    “We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes”
    -John F Kennedy.

  5. yh says:

    aint we no different from the dictators in burma? no wonder, the leaders here condone the suppression in burma. afterall, those who stay in glass houses, better dont throw stones. is this sort of action in line with islam hadhari? or this so-called islamic civilisation be selectively applied only? your take, coz I have no answer.

  6. Dan-yel says:

    Thanks for the tips. As a newbie to demonstration, I find them very useful.

    Besides, I’d been angry this lately about some people who could not turn up. Your advice has pull me back from falling into pit of hate for my friends who can’t turn up. Thanks🙂

  7. molisa says:

    I am a female Chinese Malaysian, living in the Washington DC area in the United States. I have read many of the letters that often talk about foreign countries when the writers have no real knowledge of actually living in those countries.

    Many draw conclusions about what those countries are like after hearing it from someone else or by reading and hearing about them in the media or after four years in a college town in those countries.

    I finished STPM with outstanding results from the prestigious St George’s Girls School in Penang. Did I get a university place from the Malaysia government? Nothing. With near perfect scores, I had nothing, while my malay friends were getting offers to go overseas.

    Even those with 2As got into university. I was so depressed. I was my parents last hope for getting the family out of poverty and at 18, I thought I had failed my parents. Today, I understand it was the Malaysia government that had failed me and my family because of its discriminatory policies.

    Fortunately, I did not give up and immediately did research at the Malaysian American Commission on Education Exchange (MACEE) to find a university in the US that would accept me and provide all the finances. My family and friends thought I was crazy, being the youngest of nine children of a very poor carpenter. Anything that required a fee was out of our reach.

    Based on merit and my extracurricular activities of community service in secondary school, I received full tuition scholarship, work study, and grants to cover the four years at a highly competitive US university.

    Often, I took 21 credits each semester, 15 credits each term while working 20 hours each week and maintaining a 3.5 CGPA. A couple of semesters, I also received division scholarships and worked as a TA (teaching assistant) on top of everything else.

    For the work study, I worked as a custodian (yes, cleaning toilets), carpet layer, grounds keeping, librarian, painter, tour guide, computer lab assistant, etc. If you understand the US credit system, you will understand this is a heavy load.

    Why did I do it? This is because I learnt as a young child from my parents that hard work is an opportunity, to give my best in everything, and to take pride in the work I do. I walked away with a double major and a minor with honours but most of all a great lesson in humility and a great respect for those who are forced to labour in so-called ‘blue collar’ positions.

    Those of you who think you know all about Australia, US, or the West, think again. Unless you have really lived in these countries, i.e. paid a mortgage, paid taxes, taken part in elections, you do not understand the level of commitment and hard work it takes to be successful in these countries, not just for immigrants but for people who have lived here for generations.

    These people are where they are today because of hard work. (Of course, I am not saying everyone in the US is hardworking. There is always the lazy lot which lives off of someone else’s hard work. Fortunately, they are the minority.)

    Every single person, anywhere, should have the opportunity to succeed if they want to put in the effort and be accountable for their own actions. In the end, they should be able to reap what they sow.

    It is bearable that opportunities are limited depending on how well-off financially one’s family is but when higher education opportunities are race-based, like it is in Malaysia; it is downright cruel for those who see education as the only way out of poverty.

    If you want to say discrimination is here in the US, yes, of course it is. Can you name a country where it doesn’t happen? But let me tell you one thing – if you go looking for it, you will find it. But in Malaysia, you don’t have to go look for it because it seeks you out, slaps you in your face every which way you turn, and is sanctioned by law!

    Here in the US, my children have the same opportunity to go to school and learn just like their black, white, and immigrant friends. At school, they eat the same food, play the same games, are taught the same classes and when they are 18, they will still have the same opportunities.

    Why would I want to bring my children back to Malaysia? So they can suffer the state-sanctioned discrimination as the non-malays have for over 30 years?

    As for being a slave in the foreign country, I am a happy ‘slave’ earning a good income as an IT project manager. I work five days a week; can talk bad about the president when I want to; argue about politics, race and religion openly; gather with more than 50 friends and family when I want (no permit needed) and I don’t worry about the police pulling me over because they say I ran the light when I didn’t.

    How about you………….?

  8. monsterball says:

    yea….Thanks for the tips too!
    Harrison is slippery…I will just smoke away my cigar and stand like General Custer for the last man standing there.
    They can bring black marias or even cannon balls. Me no run away la.
    Susan gives useful tips….but I do have balls of fury.
    I just thank God for given me this opportunity to do something for the country and King to further fulfill my useful life. How fortunate are the thousands today at the rally.
    If I am missing for few days…perhaps makan masik lemak kosong under UMNO hospitality with Sheih and Black.
    Hope to meet Harrison and jeancumlately and many many more friends.
    This is my last message for today.
    Goodluck to all at the rally and see you there.

  9. […] For participants of perhimpunan rakyat gelombang kuning, do read Susan Loone. […]

  10. hkengmacao says:

    I believe many police and FRU are aspire to have clean and fair election. The different is that they are under government payroll. So, I hope the so called provocateurs will not do what they did last time, afterall, BERSIH just want to have a clean and fair system of election. It is not a crime to have this aspiration.

    I can see why BERSIH was formed for the purpose as those in authority keep denying their requests to have a clean and fair system here. I believe they are left with ‘no choice’ but to have this CLEAN WALK to submit the general public memorandum to the Yang Dipertuan Agong. So, lets not taint the CLEAN WALK, police (uniformed or otherwise) and FRU.

  11. jeancumlately says:

    I had to go through two road blocks and the traffic jams (on saturday?) this morning just to reach kl. Is that a helicopter hovering overhead?

    Geez… these people are really serious, arent they?

    Daulat Tuanku! Hei, I get to see him today lah…

  12. malaysian ways says:

    Learn the Malaysian ways here:

    http://malaysian-ways.blogspot.com/

  13. Zawi says:

    I cant comprehend how the FRU personnel can act as if they are mere robots when asked by their masters to disperse peaceful demonstrators. Have they no feelings at all when bashing unarmed people like they did? Didn’t they realise that those protesters were doing them a favour too by correcting something that is very wrong?

  14. obefiend says:

    FRU

    F*****g robotic Untensils to be used by the fascist government. my thoughts and prayers goes out to the victims. the government is fearful ofthe rakyat. now they use scare tactic

    since when did Abdullah mutated into Stalin?

  15. Elena Marohnic says:

    I saw it in Al Jazeera…. Was it that bad? Thought it was a safe and peace country….

  16. […] finally, THIS ONE HERE is an entry from Susan Loone which i find a very good piece, very worth […]

  17. siew_wah says:

    Pray the Agong who received the memorandum will have the wisdom to dismiss the current corrupt administration. Daulat Tunaku !

  18. iammi says:

    molisa,

    You are one bitter person. Just because you went through tough times,it doesn’t mean most of us here are collecting money pouring from the sky. At least you are doing ok there. What about those who have no choice? Of cos, they should be like you when you were young, single with no commitment so that they can worked very hard, go overseas and be in a country that treats you fair. Point is, it is easy to say those things to others. But people may have different circumstances. So be grateful for what you have (maybe you wont be this ‘successful’ if you too were ‘pampered’ like your Malay friends) but dont pass judgement on others. Maybe you too dont know everything there is to know and understand.

  19. jughead says:

    We must petition to Agong his Mesjesty to withdraw the Title Polis Di Raja. What the Polis has done should be named Polis Di BN as they are used by BN Government (MCA, MIC, UMNO, Gerakan) to deny the rights of Malaysians to see their Agong. If the Datuks and Tan Sri misbehave, they are stripped of their title. Why not the Polis if they are public servants and subjects of Agong too?

  20. chaptokam says:

    Time for change is almost here. Just be a little bit patient.

  21. bghjfsde says:

    What Polis Di BN? It should be Polis Di UMNO, where UMNO means U.Must.Not.Oppose

  22. monsterball says:

    Elena…The one I call Aussie is back!!
    Yes certain places were as bad as you read it from Al Jazeera.
    Sheih was involved with the tear gas and his camera lens was broken and the way he wrote…he did suffered tear gas and water hose treatments…but he is okay. He was concern about me…but I was lucky…our group was peaceful…as we avoided the police road blocks.
    Stood there for few hours and walking for more than an hour …poruing rain non stop was quite an experience.
    All the group shouted was’Long live the King” and”We want clean elections”
    40,000 of us and at least equal amount were blocked off to be at the rally.
    I went early…..and my friends drop me off and went elsewhere. we giot together by PH to go home after the rally.
    I tell you all folks….being there…is some kind of special feelings…much better than going to the ballot boxes….as 40,000 was the biggest rally in Malaysian history against UMNO and BN.
    Strait Times dare not put out the news photos….great for democracy…and Star did one small write up. Those Editors must be very proud of themselves to give the public real good news.

  23. Dan-yel says:

    Molisa’s story is one that has been told many times. But the way she put it, it sheds light on what is so wrong with our Government today. Plagued with communal politics and corruption of absolute power, this Government has come to view they are the only ones who has the right to govern. From that, they are unwittingly destroying the basis of a civil society.

    Carelessly sweeping the whole Western Civilization as either antithetical to Asian or Islamic values. They have unknowingly, as much as I wanna believe they never intend so, corrupted the minds of the poor Malays, making them to think that their special rights was “divinely” ordained and challenging this right will justify violence. All hopes of discourse in good faith is impossible for this country. Malaysia is becoming a theocratic state by its own right, not in the sense of being an Ulama-ruled country, but a state where reasons are subdued by dogmas. I have nothing against Islam, I, a Christian, admire Islam in fact for its theological ingenuity and its position regarding to humanism, it’ll lay out a perfect foundation for a civil society had it not been understood as similar as those conveyed by some religious leaders who are just not smart enough.

    If nothing is done, Malaysia will run into a subtle civilizational crisis that will take generations to recover from.

    I’d like to ask Molisa’s permission to share her story in my blog. Can Susan ask her for me, and then get back to me via my email or blog?

  24. natsinned says:

    iammi, molisa is only telling us a possible options and not the necessary one if one cannot do it. How can she be not bitter as in the other non malay malaysians who excels in their studies and NOT given the chance. It is the living truth. Stay back in our own Malaysian soil by all means but do make it comfortable, compatible and conducive to live by for everyone.
    I am pretty sure each one of us a horrorful experience with the authorities in the states we live in or other states when we travelled. How best if the situations can be controlled by us instead from the law enforcers mostly doing it for their own self satisfaction.
    In one single sentence, my brother visited us recently from Ohio, USA when he went thirty years ago, as we talked of the incidents and happenings in Malaysia he refuted ” “we do not get such treatments over there”. What else is/are new???

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