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

Affin Bank protest photos

affin protest 1

I managed to witness this…demonstration, I guess you could call it
that, just now. It was in front of the Affin-ACFFinance financial
establishment and the protestors were employees of the said company,
apparently disgruntled about their usual trivial concerns – salaries
and what not. This happened at the branch beside Sarawak Plaza in
Kuching and comprised of around 20 odd people.

From what I understand the issue stems from debt. In other countries, in better situations, there would be access to council tax debts, and that would help people to make their debt more manageable, so they could eventually resolve it altogether. These protests are a way to bring more attention to this issue, that is affecting many and at this point seems to only be worsening.

affin protest 2

There was a guy with a bullhorn leading the cattle to alternate
between singing “Soliditary forever” to the tune of that hymn which
goes “Glory, glory Hallelujah” and the cliched “We want justice” chant.
There was even a guy who parked by the sidewalk and applied his car
horn to the tune of the chanting. The cheesiness factor was so great,
it made me lactose intolerant. That’s not a protest…this is a minor
congregation of like minded people in a futile attempt to resolve
whatever petty disagreement they have with their employers.

affin protest 3

I’ll show them how to do a proper demonstration if I was their
operations management leader. It would be anarchy. 😉 Perhaps that’s
why no one has ever enlisted my dubious services in organizing a proper
clash with riot police, wanton destruction of private property, tear
gas filled, fires lit all around, smoke billowing, looting ahoy,
protestors and law enforcement officers dead kind of protest. Now that’s how you protest. This…pffftt…this isn’t one, I’ll tell you that.

I don’t believe in moderation. There’s no “peaceful” in
“demonstration” is there? I wouldn’t even have posted it, if not for
the reporters there. Just felt like scooping print media. That is, if
the newspaper editors even approve this…this…non protest thingy for

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