But from the picture below, it is obvious that considerably more than 20,000 and certainly more than 5,000 people participated. Maybe they have a new maths in town. I don't know and I am not impressed with it.
|Picture Taken From Malaysia Chronicle|
Note: Nearly Every Street, Nook And Corner of Sections Of KL City Filled With Participants Of Bersih 3.0
So, Only 5000 Turned Out?
It must be remembered that the people who attended the rally were not paid to do so. They came from all corners of Malaysia and from all walks of life and from all ages and races.
Many of them had to fork out their own money to put up at hotels. Pay their own expenses including for transport.
They came knowing that they might be tear-gassed and water-cannoned. Arrested or even beaten up.
They came because they believed that the Malaysian electoral roll is not clean and the electoral process anything but clean and fair.
They came to let the government know that they want the electoral roll cleaned up and electoral reforms put in place to ensure free, fair and clean elections.
So, yes, 250,000 to 300,000 participants must be a telling number anyhow you look at it. Compared to Umno functions where many say participants are often paid for their attendance, with free transport and food thrown in.
And of course non of the participants at Umno functions ever need to fear harassment from the authorities, let alone being tear-gassed or water-cannoned or arrested or beaten up!
Yes, Bersih 3.0 was a resounding success in that the people's message to the Najib administration is clear. Whether Najib wants to do anything positive in response is another matter.
Now, obviously fearing that the rakyat's message may be too much for a recalcitrant administration to handle, what better thing to do then than to create a situation to demonise the organisers of Bersih 3.0 and so lay the blame on them for the ugly scenes and thus to paint a bad picture of the whole Bersih rally and so hopefully to blunt and obfuscate Bersih's and the rakyat's message calling for a clean up of the Malaysian electoral roll and reforms to the electoral process to ensure free, fair and clean elections.
Now consider that a rally that had been largely peaceful and carnival for most of the day had suddenly turned ugly at about 3pm as soon as Anwar and Ambiga (co-chairwoman of Bersih 3.0) had left the scene.
Your guess would be as good as any.
Here's a video apparently showing police firing tear gas and water cannons at rally participants who were largely peaceful and in fact quite a distance away from the Independance Square or Dataran
Merdeka site itself, the holy ground of the authorities that had to be protected by a court order hastily obtained at the penultimate moment and locked down to boot when it was all the while accessible to the public.
Of course Dataran Merdeka is a public square which the people have a right of access to.
If it was alleged that rally participants had breached the barricade to the square which therefore caused the authorities to fire tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd, why was there a need to do the same to other rally participants who were peaceful and far away?
Was there in fact a coordinated attempt to frustrate the rally and put the blame on the organisers of Bersih 3.0 and make them and the rally participants look bad so as to try to obfuscate and blunt the rally's message for electoral reforms and a clean up of the Malaysian electoral roll?