I accidentally joined the Bersih 4 protest rally

Bersih 4

With hindsight, I should have suspected something was amiss. None of my fellow compatriots spoke a word of Thai. I was more than a little puzzled at their t-shirts saying Bersih 4, since I didn’t know what that meant.

Bersih 4 KL

All I know is that I woke up on the 29th of August and drove to join the PAD (no, that’s not a transcription error for DAP – it actually means People’s Alliance for Democracy or พันธมิตรประชาชนเพื่อประชาธิปไตย) – the yellow shirts.

Bersih 4 Media

I didn’t know how long I was driving but I got stuck at Kelana Jaya so I stopped my car and went with the sea of yellow to board the LRT.

Bersih 4 Malays

I saw them getting off at Pasar Seni LRT and went with them, expecting to rally against Thaksin.

Bersih 4 Kuala Lumpur

I thought it was great that there were so many foreigners with us, it seemed like the royalist movement is really gaining some serious momentum!

Bersih 4 Police

The crowd got stopped by a veritable wall of police at the barricades around Dataran Merdeka so we walked up the highway flyover.

Bersih 4 Barricades

There was a huge police presence with ballistic vests all loaded up in trucks. These personnel carriers are all full of our dutiful men in blue at the back, and even had drivers at their seats, ready to deploy.

Bersih 4 Protest

Of course, I thought it was slightly perplexing that the emblems spelled “POLIS” instead of “POLICE” but I didn’t give it much thought at the time.

Bersih 4 Speakers

It was, after all, a beautiful day and I managed to go all the way to the front of the stage where the speakers were.

The speeches were a little confusing to me since there were bits I didn’t quite understand – keywords like “1MDB”, “Najib”, and “USD 700 million” were being bandied around. Baffling! I honestly don’t know what that had to do with Shinawatra.

Bersih 4 Me

I sat down in front and absorbed the bewildering and unfamiliar atmosphere, mulling and brooding over what was going on.

Bersih 4 Crowd

Suddenly, it dawned on me – this *wasn’t* about Yingluck…

Bersih 4 Dataran Merdeka

It seems that in my haste, I had driven all the way to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! I was at the banned Bersih 4 protest in KL!

Bersih 4 Rally

Words cannot describe how shocked and dismayed I was to have mistakenly participated in an illegal rally, since I’ve always been a law-abiding citizen.

Bersih 4 Protestors

Thoroughly disgusted with myself, I immediately left the prohibited gathering with my Thai Patriots Network shirt. It took me 34 hours to drive back to Bangkok, indignant at my inadvertent blunder. smirk

A funny story about voting in GE13 (and indelible ink)


My voting station is in SRB Tung Hua and all the hype about indelible ink (or rather the delible nature of the ink) has made it the central topic in my mind.

tung hua voting station

I flew back to Sibu to vote in the GE13 (13th General Elections) yesterday and I’m flying back to KL later. I had changed my address here coz I think the Opposition has a good chance in my constituency. There’s three (3) candidates for the 212 – Sibu seat – DAP, BN and an Independent.


Ling took a video of me this morning letting off a fireworks rocket – I guess that much tells you which party I voted for. ;)

(For those unfamiliar with Malaysian politics, DAP’s logo is a rocket taking off)

oscar ling dap

I don’t even know Oscar Ling, the DAP candidate for my constituency – I wanted to vote for change, so I voted for the party instead of the candidate.

212 sibu

I went to the voting station and got assigned a number. I was asked which hand I write in (I’m right handed) so I got the indelible ink painted on my left hand. It’s done on the opposite index finger.

I took the slip into the voting booth…

malaysian elections indelible ink

…and promptly put my left index print beside the DAP logo. -_-

indelible ink malaysia

Indelible ink has been on my mind all the while and I thought the new rules is to mark for the party you’re voting for using the ink. That doesn’t make sense at all coz:

  1. Voting is supposed to be anonymous and having your fingerprint there isn’t anonymous
  2. They wouldn’t have asked you for the *opposite* finger you write with if you’re meant to mark it
  3. There are writing implements there, just like past elections

I somehow looked past all that and for some robotic reason put my thumbprint (or index print rather) for the DAP candidate.

Mom: Idiot! You’re like a first time voter, being so blur.
Me: I thought that was the new rules instead of putting an X.

voting us

It’s okay though, I asked and old people have used their thumbprints or just put a single dot using a pen on the candidate they want to vote for in the past and it’s *confirmed* counted. It’s all good. :)

ge13 removable ink

…and on the subject of the ink, it’s not really that indelible. I’ll say it’s hard to remove, but after a shower and two hand washes, it has faded. I’m sure a dedicated person can totally remove it.

ge13 indelible ink
Obligatory GE13 photo: Giving the finger to show where my support lies. ;)

I have blue ink all over the tissues and other stuff I touch when in contact with oil or water e.g. during lunch!

Update: 212 Sibu is won by DAP! The other major urban seat 211 (Lanang) was also taken by DAP with over 8,000 votes! :D
Unfortunately, the smaller rural areas didn’t swing due to lack of education and Internet access. This, I believe, will change in the future.

I’m back in Sibu to vote! (and Foochow chicken rice)

ling hb sibu

I’m in Sibu! I flew back with Ling early this morning and arrived at the airport so I can spend some time with my family (mom is flying back later tonight) before we all go to vote tomorrow. I think we might be voting for different parties but that’s the beauty of democracy ain’t it? :)

chopsticks sibu

Anyway, I noticed that Chopsticks Chicken & Rice now has a new signboard. This is a place that has been around since my childhood! I remember eating the mixed rice there as a kid and chu cha (dai chow in Cantonese) when they moved over to Pedada.

chopsticks pedada

However, what they’re really famous for is their chicken rice. My dad is a huge fan of it. There are scores of Sibu people who loves the chicken rice here. Lunch time will be *packed* with people ordering chicken rice and it’s sold out real soon.

chopsticks chicken rice

They’re doing so well that they dedicated an entire shoplot just for it. That place was previously Peppino’s Pizza (also by the same owner).

roasted chicken

There’s a bunch of things you’ll expect from a chicken rice place – char siew, roasted chicken, duck, innards, siew yoke, braised egg and also some that you won’t.

foochow curry chicken

…like this Foochow style curry chicken.

braised egg

It’s the same thing I’ve eaten as a kid – there used to be three compartments (not including your rice) and I’ll have curry chicken for all of them). Arthur ordered this one for us – he was kind enough to pick us up from the airport. It’s milder (in spiciness rating) than regular curry yet more intense (they put a lot of the curry powder). A peculiarity of Foochow cuisine.

char siew

The signboards are new and there’s a lot of people eating there but what I really crave is kampua mee. Unfortunately, everyone was sold out then (must be the people coming back for elections!!!) so we had lunch here.

chicken rice

It’s not too bad though, I think most people come here for the rice – it’s fragrant and what makes Chopsticks Chicken Rice special! The char siew is also good – glazed with honey and with no color additives that makes it radioactive red.

ling in room

We’ll be staying a night here – she’s already met my grandma and we’ll have dinner together and vote tomorrow! :D

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