Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru was again flooded by the colour yellow as supporters of ‘Janji Demokrasi’ started gathering as early as 10 pm.
This day, the eve of Malaysia’s National Day 2012, will be forever in the memories of Johoreans, as they came to show their solidarity as Malaysians.
With Bersih 3.0 still fresh in their minds, more Johoreans are becoming more aware of their rights as Malaysians.
The crowd of fifty that gathered at 10 pm slowly grew to about one thousand at the stroke of midnight.
Safety engineer Arulmagesan Ramasamy brought his whole family to show his solidarity with the organisers of the ‘Janji Demokrasi’ rally.
Lee Yew Hong, a veterinary surgeon by profession, said he was there with his family because he wants a better future for his children.
Self proclaimed workers’ union activist Mohamad Salleh Ahmad wanted to reiterate the Bersih 2.0’s 8 Demands, which are:
1) Clean the electoral roll
2) Reform postal ballot
3) Use of indelible ink
4) Minimum 21 days campaign period
5) Free and fair access to media
6) Strengthen public institutions
7) Stop corruption
8) Stop dirty politics
Event planner Ng Chee Yong who works in Singapore hopes the GE13 will bring a change to Malaysia, hoping the economy will improved and he can come back to work in the Malaysia he loves.
At about 11.45 pm the poem by poet and novelist, A. Samad Said, ‘Janji Demokrasi’ was read with the crowd chipping in. Candles, torchlights and the light from handphones were seen lighting up the poems that were distributed earlier.
A few seconds before the stroke of midnight the countdown started. The crowd enthusiastically went ‘sembilan, lapan, tujuh, enam, lima, empat, tiga, dua’ and then fireworks were let off with brilliant colours.
Immediately after the countdown, a few people were seen frantically washing their faces and fanning themselves. It seems that someone had maliciously sprayed pepper spray into the crowd. About six victims were seen to have suffered from the wanton act.
Aside from this mishap, the rally was peaceful.