It was a topic which everyone in the country talked about for weeks.
It was in the News for almost everyday before 709. Everywhere I went I heard people warning each other that they should stay at home for their own safety as they feared that there might be an event like 513 occurred again right in the heart of KL. At this point of time, the government had successfully instilled fear into the majority of its people.
Even at that point of time, I had no idea how dangerous it could be to be joining an illegal rally which is set against the Government. I joined the rally simply because I promised a friend [Jenn Wei] that I had blocked that particular Saturday for it. It was really funny, because I never really met this particular friend in real life before yet I was driven to go maybe because of his spirit to fight for his own home-town which was entangled in the Lynas Controversy. His pictures from the Lynas Rally moved me deep inside.
It was 709 finally, I travelled down to Bandar Tasik Selatan from Putrajaya early morning to meet up my cousin before getting into KL with a bottle of water and my camera nothing else. We took Star LRT from there to Pudu, and as usual I would walk around in the LRT looking for interesting subjects to shoot. There is this uncle in the train suddenly asked me, Dik Mane U Pigi? I was startled for a moment and I smiled back to him replying that I was heading down to KL to service my camera. Pushing my luck, I asked him where is he going and he replied in high spirits that he was on his way to join the Bersih 2.0 Rally which everyone was talking about introducing his friends/family members in the train which was going for the Rally too. I grab a few shots of him and got off the train at Pudu Station.
It was 10.40am when we reached Time Square by foot. The roads and surrounding area was extraordinarily quiet on that particular day and we decided to walk to Puduraya Station to see if there is any people around that is getting ready for the rally, yet Jalan Pudu was so peaceful and quiet my cousin suggested me to lie down on the road to take a shot which I did!
After that, I followed my cousin to Pudu Plaza’s direction which he received news that people had started to group up near there. We walked briskly to Pudu Plaza from Puduraya to join those people that were grouping up. As we are getting close, I actually felt an overwhelming sense of excitement and fear at the same time. Spirits are high, Voices of the Rakyat was loud and clear even before the group was in sight. Finally, I joined in the Rally with the hesitation of violence might occur from our end.
As we marched on, people are joining in the Rally from nowhere! The group just got larger and larger as we marched towards the alley between Low Yat Plaza and Sg. Wang from Times Square. It was all peaceful whereby everyone was chanting Bersih! Bersih! in high spirits as we headed to Jln. Pudu from Sg. Wang. I ran forward leaving my cousin behind to cover some shots of the crowd which was growing. However, we were not able to proceed any further when we reached the traffic light in front of Puduraya as the Police Force was spotted right opposite. People stopped moving forward, started singing our national anthem and chanting Bersih! Bersih! Bersih!
Things started to get ugly when the Police Force on the opposite started to fire tear gas and water canon towards the citizens which marched peacefully for no reason. People was scared and started fleeing away from tear gas and the water canon aimed at them. We were forced to retreat back into Jln. Pudu.
It rained, people started sitting down in protest on the tear gas and water canon fired towards them. Yet, the Police Force could bother less about the people and continued to bombard the crowd with more tear gas and water canon when the rain slowed down. People was forced to take refuge in Tung Shin Hospital when they noticed that they could not move backwards any more as the other end was cornered by another group of Police Force thinking that it was a safe place where tear gas and water canon will not be shot into the hospital compound.
Despite the fact that Hospital is a sacred place which must be left untouched during wartime, the Police Force fired tear gas and water canon mercilessly into Tung Shin Hospital compound trying to force Rally Goers to come out. I almost thought that I would blackout due to the suffocation caused by inhaling excessive tear gas, yet I survived when I ate some salt passed to me by some other Rally Goers whom I do not know.
I stayed in Tung Shin Hospital long enough to catch my breath and decided move towards the Police Force in order to see what they are up to! I was lucky! They did not gave a damn bout me and I continued lingered around them updating my cousin who was still stuck inside Tung Shin Hospital on the happenings outside. After a while, they continued to fire tear gas and water canon towards the helpless crowd in front of them forcing more people to take refuge into Tung Shin Hospital. The Commander of the Police Force anounnced that people that dispersed will not be detained yet they sent in more troops to Cuff everyone in sight. *(Their PA System Sucks Anyway)
I actually witnessed detainees which was escorted out of Tung Shin Hospital was brutally kicked and beaten up by the Police Force even they are pleading them to stop.
In this particular rally, I witness Police Brutality, normal citizens of our country treated like fugitive/criminals, more blatant lies from our government (Fcking Clowns & Jokers). Nevertheless, the power of unity from the People who joined Bersih 2.0 for a common goal. I witnessed Irony in our PM’s Goal; One Malaysia was Achieved during this Illegal Anti Government Rally. I Lost Hope & Faith In The Government Completely Yet I Loved The Country Even More For Its People.
I am Proud to be Malaysian and a part of History in time to come. An Event Which Malaysians Will Never Forget.
Thanks to my cousin, friends, JW and people who gave their support to the Rally.
Below are some of my cover for Bersih 2.0:
ERL The Way To Kl. Stay Behind Yellow Line Or Actions Will Be Taken! Prohibited Into Malaysia! Behind Bars. Our Country. Work In Progress. Anticipation. Anxiety. Confidence. Nothingness. Simply So Un-KL [Before The Rally Starts] Jln Bukit Bintang. Emptiness. Hentian Puduraya. Simply Doing Something Cool Before The Rally Starts. Thanks Couz For The Pic! In Disguise. Rally Goers. Bersih 2.0. It Has Begun. Bersih! Bersih! Bersih! Malaysia. Our Homeland! The Group Got Larger In Front Of Time Square. Superman We Are For Malaysia. Hand In Hand Together We Stand. Alley Between Sg.Wang & Low Yat Plaza Flooded With Rally Goers. In Front of Hong Kong Fast Food Chain. Bersih Supporters From The Hong Kong Fast Food Chain. The Guy In Red Was Beaten Up By Police. Clean & Fair Election Is All We Want. On The Way To Jln. Pudu. More People Joining In The Rally. Bersih Is In My Head. In Disguise. Policeman. Some Rally Goers Getting Emotional. The Crowd Marching Forward Along Jln. Pudu. Rally Goers. Getting A Few Shots On The Massive Crowd On Higher Grounds. Simply A Peaceful Crowd Yet Tear Gas & Water Canon Was Fired. [See Background] More Tear Gas Fired Against The Crowd. People Started To Retreat Slowly In An Orderly Fashion. Some Started Running Away From The Scene As Those Tear Gas Canister Was Too Close To Them. A Random Stranger Which Got Prepared For The Rally. [Who Says Swimming Goggles Are Only For Swimming?] A Clean Malaysia Is What We Loved. Masked. I Aint No Ninja. Peace Is All I Want. Standing Up For Negaraku. I Am Clean. Are You? Gobind Singh Sighted On Scene. A Self Portrait Of Myself With The Crowd. People Resting While Taking Refuge In Tung Shin Hospital Compound. People Trying To Find Their Way Out From Tung Shin Hospital. I Guess They Failed As The Police Force Gathered Outside Of Tung Shin Hospital. FRUs Awaiting Orders To Fire Against The Crowd. Helicopter That Was Just Above My Head Right Outside Tung Shin Hospital. [Flying So Low Disturbing The Hospital's Peace.] I Seriously Wonder What They Did To Him. [Police Gang Rape?] Police Arresting People That Took Refuge In Hospital. Wonder Why He Is Smiling Even He Is Caught? Cause We Won. Nabila. A NHK Reporter Whom I Met In The Rally. Her Crew Member Tony Got Hit By The Police Force. Practically I Do Not Know What Is This Guy Doing Here. I'm Still Wondering Why Did These Guys Show Up After The Rally. Three Sisters. They Travelled Down From Kedah, Melaka and Johore Respectively To Join The Rally. [From Left] For More Photos Do Visit: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvk5Gbt