Sunday, April 29, 2012

What does it feel the day after BERSIH?

It feels strange.  Surreal.  Unreal.  Almost like a dream.  Like you're not sure if it really happened.  And you're not sure what exactly happened.  And you're not sure if it happened at all!  Until you fire up your computer and read about all the sweet and bitter stories about what really happened.

I won't go into detail of my experience yesterday.  If I have to sum it up in one sentence, then it would be 'a carnival on elm street'.  A peaceful protest turned sour because of whatever whatever whatever happened (and still no one can be sure).  It turned nightmarish when innocent citizens 'dikepong' (surrounded) within the area with tear bombs, exit points sealed.  To the police strategist - I'm not sure what was the brief but your objective in retrospect sure looks iffy and your strategy a mess unless you're telling me that the intention was to punish the citizens and smoke em' like rats so that they either sit down to 'enjoy' the gas (because the old ones can't run anymore) or run, scurry or even jump from high places as your form of enjoyment.  Oh well.  You'll be screwed fo sho' if we were to do a PDCA :Pp

As a result, I now can proudly say that I was one of the FRUs smoked rats :D the tear gas, as my fellow yellow bellow friend rightly put it, was no pussy gas as he thought it was before.  YA MAN.  It really stings.  Imagine we're not even in direct inhalation, forget 'tearing', your entire breathing system burns.  Thereafter, panic comes from your inability to breathe especially if you're a newbie.  I started panicking a) after realizing that the burning sensation is growing and b) there seem to be tear bombs everywhere - at the back and in front of us - where to go now? But luckily a good Samaritan who owns a bookstore (, let us into his shop on the 1st floor in one of the buildings.  And we were safe.  And there were a lot of good Samaritans trying to be helpful but you'll be surprised, everyone was VERY calm.  Looked bit wet and uncomfortable, bit worried but generally CALM.  Wow, amazing isn't it? :) The strength I never knew we had :)

After all the John Woo drama, I reached home safely (thank God and thank you all who prayed for us) and even went out for dinner.  I must have been really animated during dinner, like I just watched a Hollywood piece at the cinema earlier that afternoon.  Well, I hope at least I was entertaining :)

And then I went home.  Suddenly, very exhausted and very sleepy.  My eyes were still bit stinging, perhaps remnants to remind me that it was very real.  And I woke up today, recharged and reading all the perspectives of everyone who was there.  I saw this, no it wasn't true, I saw this, yes it's true, no I saw this, it's not true, yes I saw this, etc etc etc.  All are wonderful stories and all are worthy because all are true (plus minus the real context, at least it was truly what the person saw).  But it doesn't matter, does it?  The aftermath of Bersih isn't a blame game.  We went for it, means we were prepared for things to turn ugly and we even expected stupidity to surface itself in many stupid forms that can cost a life.  And that's just what it is.  I heard there are deaths and I'm truly truly truly sorry to hear that.  As well as to those who are hurt.  Don't give up the fight.  Yesterday was just the second phase.  There will be third, fourth, fifth and perhaps many more.  But we will be smarter next time.  Because none of them is as clever as all of us right?  Right :)

So I'm gonna leave you with my favourite pics from yesterday's rally.  Only two in fact (maybe I'll add on later if I come across more) but the meaning is monumental.  The protesters yesterday truly cover ALL WALKS of Malaysian life - every shade, size, tongue and faith.  We became friends because we have the same want for a 'clean election, clean government'.  But what in fact united us was when we protected each other, placing ourselves second to this new friend whom we just met.  Now, THAT is worth going to BERSIH for again and again and again and again.  Hey, we could even make that an annual tourism event like the Mardi Gras except it can get Hollywoodish!  Our very own national street event :) Anyway, so here are the pictures and a very well produced video (somehow, things are just more dramatic when you add a soundtrack :) Enjoy and keep protecting, keep uniting and keep on fighting x

A member of the public lies on the road in order to stop the police truck from spraying the chemical-laced water on the Bersih 3.0 participants. Picture from @Michael The II (Source: FB)

Can't find the source for this one.  But the image is self-explanatory #winning

And this one kinda gives you an idea what it felt like to be there (music makes more drama, so you may take it a notch down :))

Bersih 3.0 Same Day Edit by lumierasia

Oh and one more thing.  Some of my friends thought Bersih was a total waste of time and the people are being used by the opposition as pawns, causing unnecessary chaos (and roadblocks and traffic jam) in the country and worse, the problem of massive litter the day after.  Well, point taken.  Maybe.  Sorry about the litter though (I kept mine in my bag by the way).  We will do better in cleaning up and looking harder for a rubbish bin while running away from water cannons and tear gas next time we get smoked ok? :)

But anyway, a serious question popped up in my head: What happens when half of us want to move forward and the other half is contented with where we are.  Then what will happen to us, as one?  How do we deal with that?  Surely surely surely, if the electoral commission reforms AS A RESULT of these protesters, o-stay-home-and-comment-on-others YOU must also benefit?  But did the protesters care who benefits and who doesn't?  Did they not stand up to fight for all Malaysians?  Heck, I went for my children and I don't even have children!

Truly truly, that's a very important question that needs to be considered by our thinkers.  Hmm.  Really, think about it and share ;)

Recommended Bersih 3.0 Reads:

Marina Mahathir's POV
Lim Kit Siang's POV
The chronicle of yesterday's event from Malaysia Chronicle (time stamped)
On the importance of this fight by the Malaysian Insider

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