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Mixed bag of supporters

 | April 28, 2012

Fired by the Bersih spirit, the young and old, veterans and first-timers from afar are making their way to the city centre.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih supporters from as far as Perak streamed into the surrounding areas of Central Market as early as 7am this morning in anticipation of roadblocks and public transport being halted.

The group of about 200 was a mix of young and old, as well as veteran and first-time rally participants.

Leonald Lu, 19, who participated in Bersih 2.0, declared that the fight must continue while his friend Chace Wong, 23, said he missed the previous rally and wanted to fight for his country.

Ahmad Bidin and his wife Roziah Ahmad, both 45, left Penang at 1.30am this morning to reach Kuala Lumpur by 7am. According to them, over 40 other Bersih supporters were on the same bus.

“We’re here to give Pakatan [Rakyat] our support,” Ahmad said. “To us Bersih and Pakatan are one and the same because they are fighting for a similar cause.”

The husband and wife agreed that they were most worried about the citizenship that was being freely granted to foreigners.

When asked if they were concerned about a police crackdown, Roziah admitted that the videos of the previous rally initially scared them.

“But we don’t think the police will do anything of that sort this time around.”

CS Yap, 29, agreed and expressed confidence that an impending election was enough reason for police restraint.

“We’re prepared for the worst but I don’t think they will do anything as nasty as before since they’re under scrutiny,” he said.

His friends, many of whom “missed out” on Bersih 2.0, told FMT that they were walking this time because the government “didn’t get the previous message”.

They pointed out that of the eight reforms request by Bersih, only one was fulfilled and important ones like phantom voters and cleaning of the electoral roll had been ignored.

The early birds were later entertained by three street performers who urged everyone to join in their jamming session.

About 150 police personnel arrived at Central Market at 8.30am and have been deployed around the vicinity.


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