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Malaysia: Bersih 2.0 Rally Rattles the Government

Categories: East Asia, Malaysia, Elections, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Politics

The Bersih rally which occurred on July 9, 2011, has drawn a lot of reaction from the Malaysian public.

Whatsaysyou blogged [1]:

Bersih 2.0 should never be forgotten. Nor should it be ignored and it is time the world knows what exactly is happening in Malaysia. Secondly, we cannot deny that corruption is rampant and Malaysians deserve to be heard and known.

More than 1,400 people were arrested [2] by the police during the rally which was organized to push for electoral reforms in Malaysia. Police used tear gas to disperse a crowd which reached up to 50,000 according to the organizers. Bersih means “clean” in the local language.

Monk felt that [3] the police violated human rights:

Our Malaysia Police Force (PDRM and FRU) violated the core principles of international humanitarian law by attacking a hospital. They launched a few teargas canister into Tung Shin Hospital Child Birth Unit.Under Geneva Convention, no hospitals can be attacked by all warring parties. Our police force denied that they attack that hospital despite there are a lot of evidences showing that they launched attack on hospital.

Shanay thought [4] that it showed the true Malaysian spirit in the face of adversity:

Even though most roads to KL were closed, and polis were everywhere arresting people who were in yellow color shirts or had them in their bags, somehow these supporters still managed to gather up together. They were from different races, different ages, wearing different color clothes, but together they march towards one same hope. It was truly 1 Malaysia.

Bersih 2.0 rally. From the Twitpic page of @ckfwong8. [5]

Bersih 2.0 rally. From the Twitpic page of @ckfwong8.

Bersih is much more popular on Twitter [6], with many showing pictures taken from their mobile phones.

@zaaagh [7]: my colleague asked: “Would you do it again?” I replied: “Hell yeah!!! A thousand time if I given a chance!”

@semnos [8]:  After the tear gas, chemicals & polis arrests, the ppl were pushed back to tung shin hospital.

@syukrishairi [9]: The day I realised that all the neighborhoods in KL are so close to each other, made far only by six-lane roads.

@RizalRedride [10]: What I experienced on the 9th of July is Malaysia. We are decent people, we are a people of quality. – Charis Ding. Good on ya!

@Mahaza2 [11]: After #Bersih 2.0, people talked about ‘WE’ and no more The Malays, The Chinese or The Indians. A true 1Malaysia unrecognized by the Govt

@biopolymath [12]: Spoke to a student from China during Bersih2.0 rally in Melbourne. She felt arrests of people in yellow shirts unreasonable

There are also some videos that were posted on YouTube, among them a video showing footage of the event [13]:

OhNewBeb also posted a video with footage of the Bersih rally in Melbourne's Federation Square [14]:

More pictures were posted by Jamie [15] and The Thirsty Blogger [16], and more videos can be found in a YouTube playlist [17] and Anil Netto's blog [18].  HBHo had blogged [19] about his experience during the rally. Updates can also be found on Bersih 2.0's Twitter account [20].