At the junction of Jalan Sultan and the road leading to stadium Negara, right up to Jalan Rodger we saw a sea of people, we joined the group, the whole of Jalan Sultan itself would have numbered more then 15,000 people, we started moving forward, we saw a group of Dayaks from Sarawak, they had come to join us, then there was a group from Selangor, and shouts of "Hidup Bersih" we continued heading to the other end, there were Malays, Chinese and Indians, and our Orang Asli, it was truly Malaysian, both male and female young and old, more young then old, and that was the promise I saw, the young the future of my country was there, totally involved.
We reached the area around Menera May Bank and Pudu Raya there were at least about 20, 000 people there. Separated from us was another group huge group in front of Tongshin, we knew that in the area along the national Mosque and the area around Hilton and KL Central there was yet another group, our estimates tell us there must have been 200 thousand maybe 300 thousand people in all, no exaggeration.
Imagine the whole of Jalan Sultan full of people, imagine a huge crowd with no standing room in the area in front of May Bank on the left to Min Ho, and the right to Pudu Raya is that 3,000 people. Jalan Sultan alone would have 15,000 at the least, it was a sea of people add the crowd in front of Maybank and Jalan Rodger, and that is only one group by my reckoning.
They were shouting "Hidup Bersih" I lent my voice, to it, whenever someone started it the whole crowd followed. They were shouting down with SPR the whole crowd responded, it was jubilant, they did not give us the stadium we took KL instead.
I am a subscriber of Malaysiakini and I say their estimates were wrong, their lack of resources may be telling, that would have been the UMNO group and I did not see even one of them around., but did hear they were around in two small pockets.
Tactically this was a right BN move to benefit only the BN, because it is the truth,and the plain truth that the stadium Merdeka would have been too small for this group, and if it was held in the stadium the truth of the numbers would be told. Merdeka Stadium can take a maximum capacity of 35,000, then there is the field itself, which can take maybe 10,000 or more the rest would have to spill out and the BN's lies about numbers will be exposed.
At the 11th hour that is on the 8th Hishamuddin offered to allow us the use of Shah Alam stadium, then at almost the 12th hour his police forces shut down Shah Alam, the Shah Alam Stadium with a capacity of about 100,000 including the playing field would not have been enough that would have compounded the problems for the BN, not withstanding that this rally has done that already stadium or not.
Their plans for elections are now on hold after seeing this response, this is terrifying, Najib looks like he will suffer greater loses and Muhyuddin is laughing behind the scenes, Mahathir is laying out the plans for the elevation of his son Mukhriz.
Fast food outlets did roving business, eateries ran out of food, news vendors ran out of bottled water.
Tourists mingled with us, one of them told me,"I woke up to a deserted country and I saw police all around the streets, I thought it was a kind of coup detat, now I see a carnival atmosphere, with so many people, what's the celebration, have you overthrown the government?"
I replied, "watch we're on our way to."
They shut down KL the police were everywhere from Klang to KL, the railway halts from Klang to KL were manned by Police wanting to know where we we going, the federal highway was blocked, the Kesas was blocked the NKVE was blocked, and KL was filled with Police - the FRU, the normal day to day mata mata, and the traffic cops, yet all these two hundred to three hundred thousand went into KL.
The leaders were arrested, Ambiga, Anwar, Kit Siang Anwar's daughters, Haidi, but the people behaved, they carried on new leaders emerged from the midst, this is Malaysia I said, no need to say one when we are one, it's people who are unsure, and people who are not and a people who refuse to be one that sell slogans like one Malaysia.
The PAS men who directed us were excellent.
The section of the crowd that I was in got sprayed, and gassed, the tear gas gets into your lungs and you really gasp for breath, the eye irritation is not so bad, the water was itchy, the rains came it rained heavily, it was really god sent, it saved our skins from the laced liquid I suppose, it was a good experience next time I'll try a bigger dosage.
A relative of mine, in my age bracket too - Allen Lopes, was with another group, he sent me a message this morning it reads, "I was there too Toffee. a day I shall cherish for the rest of my life - tear gas and showers of blessing not withstanding," That really sums up yesterday.
I am prepared for more, you must be prepared for more too, if nothing changes, the mood to change what others think are unchangeable has crept in to stay and grow.
My Tribute to Organizers Participants
To Bersih and the political parties who rallied to Bersih's call my sincere appreciation. Special thanks to Ambiga, Marina Chin Abdullah and the Bersih staff for the leadership, to the heads of the opposition and especially DSAI, Lim Kit Siang, Haidi Awang, Anwars daughters who were caught and detained as a threat to internal order, my appreciation.
To the Police force if two feeble young girls could threaten you, I realise where you really are being threatened from, you are being threatened from people who openly call for violent reactions, their backers and instigators, that is where your real fear is, now I know. When will you have the guts to arrest Ibrahim Ali for all those instigation.
And lastly for you the young, the middle aged the old who were there, I salute you, like I saluted the National flag on 31st August 1957 at the Klang Town padang in my Boy Cub uniform and sang the Negara Ku, I learned the song from my scout master Mr. George Michael before Merdeka, I sang it before Merdeka, I sang it again on Merdeka Day, and I doubt even Najib can claim that.
GOD BLESS YOU & MALAYSIA