Well, today was the day everyone here in KL were anticipating. 9th of July 2011.
As a Malaysian Blogger, I just had to be there in person, capturing the protest in both videos and photos. I don’t like to rely on what others have uploaded or published. Nothing beats being there ourselves and capturing it all on our own cameras. Originality! It still rocks!
I was a bit worried when it started raining around noon approaching the time where the BERSIH 2.0 protest organizers had been saying that they will launch their street protests, no matter what? 2pm.
I prepared my equipment and packed my backpack. After settling zohor, I rode my mountain bike towards KL. 53 year old guy huffing and puffing his way towards where the action is?
The roads were practically empty due to the roadblocks set up by the police. I for one think that our men in blue did a damn terrific good job in controlling traffic coming in to the nation’s capital city.
I reached the first roadblock on Jalan Loke Yew where traffic was being channeled away to the exit heading towards Jalan Chan Sow Lin. I rode up to the policeman manning the roadblock, introduced myself and asked for his permission to ride through to cover the event.
He made a comment about me being in blue and nodded me through the roadblock! I thanked him and cycled on heading towards the city! Once in a while cops would pass me on their high powered motorbikes and a few of them glanced at me as they passed and nodded.
Hehehe..it must have struck them odd to see an old guy with white beard riding on with determination!
I reached the area near Jalan Maharajalela opposite the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall where I saw quite a number of people gathered at the roadside looking across to where the crowd was getting noisier and chanting their ‘BERSIH’ battlecry with gusto!
As I was busy shooting the entire scene with my Nikon 620 digital compact camera, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see a familiar face. One of my fellow bloggers and one of the topmost socio-political blogger at that!
After exchanging our salams and enquiring about what each other has covered so far, I asked Blogger X to hold my camera as I spoke about what I was witnessing before me?
He sportingly obliged me and after shooting a short commentary with him acting as my impromptu cameraman, we bid each other goodbye and proceeded to cover the protest as we had to?
I rode across the road to where the thick of the protest action was going on? There were Malaysians from all walks of life present. Compact digital cameras were practically in most protesters hands, recording the momentous occasion amid sporadic chants of ‘Reformasi’ being cried out by the mainly Opposition supporters.
This was the road heading towards Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara. The entrance was barb wired and blocked by a phalanx of Royal Malaysian Police officers who were standing 3 layers thick.
Behind them were FRU trucks and an array of riot vehicles. I made my way through the gathered crowd of protesters and shot a video catching them in action and managed to get several responses from them.
Instead of shying away from the camera, many of them made their way in front of me and made the peace sign or simply uttered their war cry ‘ BERSIH! BERSIH!’ etc. Now, isn’t this a sign that Malaysians are practically free to express themselves?
I will be uploading more videos and photos after this initial first report in a series on the BERSIH 2.0 protest which took place today after this.