Charles Santiago: The people want their voices heard and taken seriously
A large group of Bersih 3.0 supporters had gathered in the open car park outside Central Market with the crowd that had grown in thousands spilled over to the street of Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock in front of Central Market.
Citizen Journalist Malaysia spoke to Klang MP Charles Santiago who was waiting outside Central Market. He was in another group that had just arrived at Central Market having walked the 3 km route all the way from Brickfields to join the group here at Central Market before heading over to Dataran Merdeka for the sit-in protest in support of Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 3.0).
“I estimate the crowd here at Central Market is easily about 10,000. I was walking from Brickfields to here and there was a huge long march. What is interesting here is they are all young people; students and youth. I think this is a good sign for Malaysia. Ten, fifteen years ago, youth seldom come out. Now they are coming out to get their voices to be heard and to be taken seriously,” says Klang MP Charles Santiago.
“Holding free and fair election is an important one because in the case of Klang we have a sudden missing of 6,000 votes and people were not informed why they were moved out and also they were not consulted. This is against the law. So against all these kind of movements which I think is a violation and constitutes manipulation of the electoral system. This is something we cannot condone. You can’t win election every four years by manipulating and cheating the system.
“So I think the people here, what they want is whoever wins, win fair and square in a level playing field.”
On the crowd today, he said they were very peaceful and orderly and they took instructions.
On the denial of access to Dataran Merdeka, he said: “What is worst is they got the message wrong because Hishammuddin said this gathering is not a security threat. So it’s not a security threat, then you should allow it at Dataran Merdeka and at the last moment you try to play smart by saying you can use this stadium, that stadium. I mean who wants having a protest, just to be logical, inside a stadium and nobody can hear. You want to have a protest or some kind of an action where you bring attention of an issue through the public. I think this is important. This is something that is practise all over the world.
“When our forefathers were fighting for Merdeka, they did not do it in Stadium Merdeka, they were done in the streets of Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere in Malaysia because you take the message to the people.
“I think this government got the sense of assembly quite wrong. In fact the peaceful assembly bill is quite clear. The police cannot stop an assembly. They can only impose conditions but here what is worst is the minister had already said it’s not a security threat, If it’s not a security threat why impose all these things.”