APRIL 27 — No one has shown hesitation about coming out in full force tomorrow; indeed, many are making preparing to face a wet day, not because they are expecting to be met with water cannons and tear gas but because of the forecast of rain. In stark contrast with developments in Kuala Lumpur, the police in Perth, having been notified of our intentions, gave us the go ahead in writing.
In fact, a couple of days ago, the investigative team from State Security invited a few of us out for a catch-up chat, not in a police station but a less intimidating environment of a hotel pub. They warn us of things and elements to watch out for that could tarnish our movement instead of harassing us. Apparently, we are in their good books.
The City of Perth Council has agreed to a suggestion from someone of our community to tie yellow ribbons and messages on a tree just in front of the Malaysian Consulate. In fact, it was suggested to us that it can be left until the next general election in Malaysia!
Over 150 Perth Edition Bersih 3.0 T-shirts were ordered over two weeks ago and, despite a slow start, there’s is not going to be enough to go around. Final pick up is this evening, with priority for participants tomorrow and our guys have already turned down bulk orders.
This just goes to show that you can take a person out of Malaysia but you cannot take Malaysia out of the person. We are all Malaysian at heart despite living away from home.
In our event tomorrow, besides the customary speeches about why we are gather to show our support for the electoral reforms in Malaysia, a message from Ambiga Sreenevasan for the Global Bersih movement, which has now grown to 80 cities across the globe, will be read. A few Australians will also be in attendance including WA MP Robin Chapple, who will address the supporters. Our event, which will gather at Langley Park right on the foreshore of the Swan River, will include singing of our nation anthem followed by Malaysian favourites with theme modified lyrics.
From there, we will walk up to the Malaysian Consulate about 400m away for a sit-in / stand-down protest, in a procession led by our friends with Bunga Manggar, complete with banners, placards and flags.
Our band of merry men and women has been anticipating this edition with much excitement. The event will be documented in Oon Yeoh’s Global Bersih scrapbook, which will compiled soon after the event day.
In between the two editions, we have participated in the making of Mic Hoo’s Bersih Song: Tears of Malaysia, an international Bersih message video was released on YouTube, and who can forget the Perth CHOGM protest march in October 2011.
Bersihkan Malaysia Perth has grown into a community, not just an email contact list or profiles on Facebook. Being non-partisan, we intend to keep the pressure on bad practices, corruption, warts and all in Malaysia regardless of the political inclination.
* Soon Yee Yap is with Bersihkan Malaysia Perth.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.