Bersih 2.0- to protest or not?

Bersih 2.0- to go or not to go? That must the question popping in everyone's minds especially those who have not attended street demos of that kind before. It's daunting, especially when the Home Minister promises to use the ISA on the Bersih participants caught on 9th July 2011. Not to mention the water canons, smoke-grenades, riot shields and batons awaiting. Some say let the ballot box do the talking, and street protests are not the way.

Wangsa Maju had some fair experience in a street demo back in 2008. The demo was held at the DBKL HQ at Jalan Raja Laut and not in Wangsa Maju though. You see, somewhere in May 2008, after the 14th General Election, the DBKL saw fit to demolish about 8 major hawker areas in Desa Setapak and few other areas in Wangsa Maju. The reason for doing so was well, not a new reason- it was over a permit issue which spanned over more than a decade (I think). Yes, the hawkers, who had been operating a long time there, right on Government 'land', did not have the proper permits to build permanent structures. Some of the hawkers alleged that they had tried applying for permits for years but  DBKL never approved them. So on the fateful day of 21st May 2008, while the Wangsa Maju MP was still at a Parliament session, the DBKL came with heavyweight equipment and ran the stalls to the ground. The machinery was so heavy that it left potholes on the tarred road of Desa Setapak.

Such operations may be valid from the Town Council's viewpoint especially when it is a permit issue, but it causes more anguish when the demolishing of the illegal stalls are race-selected- ie Chinese stalls demolished but not the illegal stalls own by Malays sitting next to the Chinese-owned stalls. Many people were were saying- 'what the hell is this, DBKL?'

1st to 3rd pics above: Graffiti of protest from "THEY' the infamous underground graffiti artist, on the walls on the demolished hawker stalls

Above: The aftermath of the demolition.

There were various forms of protest- direct protest came from Wee Choo Keong, the hawkers, the blogs, the graffiti artists and indirect protests were from the Wangsa Maju community itself. The issue was more than a permit matter- it was a show of barbaric racism from DBKL.

The Wangsa Maju hawkers, various Wangsa Maju folk and Wee Choo Keong organized a street protest right in front of the DBKL building at Jalan Raja Laut. The street protest was supported by the 11 freshly-elected Kuala Lumpur MPs. Yes, election was held at March 2008 remember? Just couple of months after the GE, DBKL 'show power dee?'

Wee Choo Keong was very hands on- he taught the hawkers how to protest, how to organize it and even taught the protesters how to write the place cards, as most of the protesters then were first-timers. Without his mentorship, the protest would have never succeeded. The believe was, if something was wrong, we had to speak up.

Above: Wee Choo Keong teaching the protesters how to write place cards.
The Bersih 2.0 walk on July 9th, is about fair and free elections- core pillars of Malaysia's democratic foundation.  The ballot box, through the people, may do its talking every four years. However, many things happen between elections. Many of those 'happenings' have been threats to democracy and the right to have a fair election. It is the peoples' action in between the four years that makes sure the country stays its democratic course.

On with Bersih 2.0.


  1. wangsa maju voter6/21/2011 09:39:00 AM

    but that idiot now already a katak

  2. I hope this is not to promote Wee Cho Keong, which it seems like.

    We shall not submit to threats. Political change is a long struggle. We shall not be afraid.

  3. As a P116 voter, I was personally proud when the person I voted for, won the election. I was full of hope and aspiration for a better Wangsa Maju. Thinking not only Lembah Pantai or Batu have gotten a “heavy weight” for an MP but so do we. Proud to be a resident and for once I thought we can be equals to the Bangsarian and TTDIan. I felt the contribution to denying goons and scoundrels from representing us. During the initial stage we also felt the representation. Developers and contractors who ignored working hours were given stop work orders for weeks.

    But those were the days and ever since construction sites have kept banging away to the wee hours of the day and 7 days a week for that matter without letting-up. The road to Danau Kota got elevated to be leveled to the new shopping mall entrance. I am not questioning if these changes (elevation of the road) meets JKR specs or safety standards but at whose expenses. If they were DBKL’s, meaning it is at our expenses.

    The representative service center having moved to this “new shopping mall” Developer’s building also prompts ones to crunch simple equations.

    And to the question of whether to go or not, I’ll say go we must.

  4. So Wee Choo Keong as a Independent/MCA/GERAKAN/PPP/ MIC?

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  6. Just please dont put up such a famous FROG ! He should in a pond ! Shame to have him as our MP..a katak is a frog !