Bersih 3.0 – I wasn’t there… again.

28 May

Last year, I blogged about Bersih 2.0 and vowed to be present at Bersih 3.0. As fate would have it, I had a trip planned that weekend and couldn’t make it back to KL. Instead, I was bound for Phuket.

Yet, I knew I had to be a part of Bersih 3.0 in some way.

In the weeks leading up to the big event, I stumbled upon Global Bersih, a website dedicated to the Bersih cause and featured links to Bersih gatherings all over the world. It gave me an idea. If I couldn’t be at Bersih KL, I will be Bersih Wherever-I-Am.

So I downloaded the list of 8 demands and asked a friend to turn them into nice posters:

The 8 demands

I printed them and carried them with me as I staged my own sit-in protest from Singapore to Phuket.

My sit-in protest started at the lobby of our residence in Jurong East, Singapore:

Bersih – Demand 1

And continued on the plane.

Bersih – Demand 2

And at the Phuket International Airport. (This was my favourite location because my sign confused some tourists who were looking for their hotel pick-up. Haha!)

Bersih – Demand 3

Followed by various spots around Phuket like the beach, the mall and the market.

Bersih – Demand 4

Bersih – Demand 5

Bersih – Demand 6

Bersih – Demand 7

Bersih – Demand 8

Some may say that I achieved nothing because I wasn’t gassed like those who were in KL but I disagree. I didn’t participate in Bersih 3.0 to “achieve” something for myself. It’s not my intention to add an imaginary yellow feather to my hypothetical cap. No. I merely wanted to voice out my dissent and make a stand against dirty tactics that have been plaguing our country for years.

Some may say that it’s useless to protest against these injustices because nothing is going to change. Again, I disagree. Change is happening as we speak. More people are becoming aware of the situation and are taking ownership of the country through various civic initiatives. We just need to remind ourselves that change will not happen overnight, and nothing worth doing is ever easy.

I spent most of the day in the hotel, using the Wi-Fi connection to follow what’s happening back in KL. While I was horrified (but not surprised) at the treatment given to those who gathered around Dataran Merdeka, I was, at the same time, immensely proud of my fellow Malaysians who gathered across over 100 cities globally to make a stand. I have never seen solidarity on this scale for any Malaysian cause before and I’m glad I was able to be a part of it in my own little way.

Indeed, there are so many reasons to participate in the Bersih movement. But if I had to pick one, it’s this:  My vote is my voice and I’d be damned if I let it be manipulated for someone else’s gain!

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