Some five thousand people assembled at Polo Ground in Ipoh at 2pm on Saturday, April 28, joining their counterparts in more than seventy cities around the world to call for free and fair elections in Malaysia.
The Bersih 3.0 rally in Ipoh was headed by lawyer Augustine Anthony, supported by 48 non-governmental organisations in the state. Addressing the crowd, Augustine said this rally would send a clear message to Putrajaya of Perakeans’ wishes.
The planned 2-hour sit-in protest saw the solidarity of people from all races and walks of life, from the very young to a visually-impaired senior citizen. It was yet another attempt by the Bersih joint-action committee to call for thorough electoral reforms in the country.
While Bersih 2.0, held ten months ago, had eight demands, many of which are still not met until today, Bersih 3.0 had three major demands – the resignation of the Election Commission, cleaning up of the electoral process before GE 13 and the invitation of international observers to observe the upcoming general elections.
An independent group consisting of twenty volunteer lawyers from the Perak Bar Committee was present as observers to ensure that the rally, which was also joined by anti-Lynas protestors (Himpunan Hijau), went on peacefully. The crowd dispersed without any untoward incidents.
Adopting the colour yellow, Bersih 3.0 could be the final push for electoral reforms before GE 13, which must be held by March 2013.
On the same afternoon, a few hundred people also gathered in Bukit Merah, Lahat, to protest against the setting up of the rare earth processing plant by Lynas Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. in Gebeng, Pahang.
Report by EL. Photos by EL, ED.