The morning sun’s ray fell on a sea of bright yellow-clad Ipohites of all ages milling around Polo Ground’s hard platform eagerly waiting for something to happen. Bersih 4 Ipoh edition on Sunday, August 30 was about to begin.
The news of the impending rally was spread through social media and word of mouth. They were told that a gathering would be held at the iconic Polo Ground at 8am on Sunday. Its objective was to show solidarity for the 34-hour Bersih 4 rally held simultaneously in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
Unlike previous rallies held at the city’s favourite park, this gathering was without a leader. No one seemed to know who was in charge. But through the initiatives of some, who had come prepared with horns, vuvuzelas and yellow balloons, they walked around the park and shouted “Bersih, Bersih, Bersih” as they moved along.
It was, by all accounts, a peaceful gathering of well over 2000 Ipohites who were there to support Maria Chin’s Bersih 4.0 at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur.
“I’ve been enjoying Bersih rally ever since it got started. The response is good. This shows that people really want change,” said a woman in her early 50s to Ipoh Echo. “I just want to live in peace like it was back in the 1960s when the nation was so united. Things are a little different today. We need to get that unity back,” she added.
“We’re old and all we hope for is a better life for our children and grandchildren,” said a 76-year-old lady who was attending the rally for the first time with her wheelchair-bound friend.
“My 9-year-old son always asks what GST means and what does it entail,” a thirty-something mother of two told Ipoh Echo while a 30-year-old accountant wished for a transparent and accountable government.
The crowd started to thin out at around noon. By 1pm Polo Ground was back to normalcy.