Suaram Penang: One month into Bersih 3.0

Suaram Penang organised the ‘1 month anniversary after bersih 3.0’ gathering at Speakers Square, Penang, recently.

The 'Jom 100' banner plus colourful placards.

Emcee from Suaram, Si Cheng began the get together by informing why the gathering was called for.  One of the aims was to protest against the police and the judiciary being used as political tools against Bersih. He also said we need to pressure the government into fulfilling the 8 demands from Bersih.

Si Cheng, Suaram Emcee.

Member of Suaram steering committee Dr Toh Kin Woon, was the first to speak.  He said that the huge turnout of participants in KL, Penang, other cities in the country, and even globally, can only attest to one thing – the public feel strongly for a clean and fair election.

Dr Toh Kin Woon, Bersih Steering committee member.

He said that although the turnout was massive, unfortunately the government did not get the message and did not pay heed to the demands.

“Instead we hear of how the participants were harassed, especially Ambiga. Ambiga is a courageous woman of principle and integrity. She is firm on her standing for a clean and fair election, despite all the bullying,” said Dr Toh.

Dr Toh motivate the crowd when he said that the government’s action only showed that the government is weak and afraid, while the public is getting stronger. He hoped the public will continue fighting for the future as the public must be the masters of the country, not the government.

Up next was Chon Kai from PSM, who salutes all those who attended Bersih 3.0 as he said they had stood up for democracy.  He said that Bersih’s demands are valid and reasonable, so he can’t understand why some people who did not support the demands.

While saying that some police were doing a good job during Bersih 3.0 in KL, he hit out at the police who started the commotion.

PSM member, Chon Kai.

He ended his speech by leading the crowd into various Bersih chants.

An elderly Chinese Malaysian gave a short speech in Hokkien, where he called for the full support for a clean and fair election and a change in government.

A concerned citizen giving his speech in Hokkien.

A special appearance was made by the Bersih participant who was hit on the eye by a tear gas canister Asrul Wadi Ahmad.  He received a loud applause when he said that he may be blinded in his eyes but he will not be blinded in his heart, and urged everyone, together with him to continue to fight for a free and fair election.

Asrul Wadi Ahmad - had tear gas shot right into his eyes a month earlier.

“Please do not lose focus of Bersih’s demands.” pleaded Aliran‘s Dr Prema when she spoke.  “We organized Bersih 3.0 in Penang and we had cooperation from the Police and the Council. The people of Penang showed the government that we can gather in big number in peace.”

Dr Prema reminds the people not to forget the vision this coming election.

ADUN for Pantai Jerajak, Penang Sim Tze Tzin, made the crowd laughed when he said that after Bersih 3.0, we heard of nothing from the authorities but we heard of  people ‘main punggang’ (butt dance).

ADUN of Pantai Jerejak, Sim cracks jokes while insisting that the people not lose sight of the 8 demands.

Like Dr Prema, he also mentioned the 8 demands, saying that if the government does not want to take heed of the demands, it shows that the government is not keen on reform.

“We also want the chairman of SPR to answer us if he is still a umno member. He must resign,” he said. “I don’t believe that in our country there are no one of caliber to lead SPR.”

He also called on the people to reject the Peaceful Assembly Act as he said it was a sham.

“The Act had stated that we are free to gather in peace but look at what happened to Anwar, Azmin, Chegubard, who were charged for assembling. Let us also continue to pressure the government in fulfilling the 8 demands.”

A cohesive crowd.
Ready to listen.
Colourful cartoons depicting the 8 demands.
People power in Penang.