Malaysia

It’s not a Pakatan thing for some Padang Merbok campers

Nurainie Haziqah (left) with friends - Mohd Kamil, Arif Imran and Hamdi Fahmi - will be camping at Padang Merbok until Monday.Nurainie Haziqah (left) with friends - Mohd Kamil, Arif Imran and Hamdi Fahmi - will be camping at Padang Merbok until Monday.From appearances, these were young but hardy believers in Pakatan Rakyat making a stand long after the Black 505 rally leaders and thousands of supporters had gone home. Not quite. Political loyalties were not what had driven some 200 students and youths to set up camp at Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur today with the attention of staying put until Monday.

Change is what they are after, even if there was risk in pitching tents at the site, an action unlikely to go down well with City Hall. "We have been ignored for far too long," was a common refrain among them.

The Malaysian Insider spoke to a few of them who said they are fed-up with the government paying them lip service.

International Islamic University law student Mohd Kamil Abdul Munim, 23, insisted they were not breaking any laws.

"Erecting a tent is not an offence. It is not a permanent structure," he said. "We are here for a reason. We are unhappy with the election results."

He wants the world to know what is happening in Malaysia. He also wants to put pressure on the government to make the changes the students are seeking.

Mohd Kamil said the youth today are not like before. "We are more knowledgeable. We cannot be fooled any longer," he said.

He was there with three other friends, undergraduates Nurainie Haziqah, 23, Arif Imran, 23, and Hamdi Fahmi, 22.

"Our parents are aware that we are here," said Nurainie, a final year law student at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

"My mother was worried but my dad gave me the freedom to choose my own path. He only told me to be careful.

"We don't expect to see changes in the next two days but we hope it will open the eyes of the government."

Nurainie stressed that they were not there to help Pakatan Rakyat take over Putrajaya.

"What we want are reforms and it must start with the government admitting there was election fraud," she said, adding that only then can the country move forward.

Nurainie added that the government knows the people are unhappy but it is choosing to ignore the issues.

Her views were shared by Arif and Hamdi who said that their stand had nothing to do with Pakatan Rakyat or Umno.

"It is the system. It was put in place to protect the ruling party and that has to change."

The students have erected about 40 tents at Padang Merbok and plan to stay there until Monday when the new Parliament convenes for the first time.


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