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Friday, November 18, 2016

Bersih 5 Rally - 5

Dr M praises ‘high turnout’, says it is not about race
2.20pm: Dataran Maybank- Dr Mahathir Mohamad commends the "high turnout" for the Bersih 5 rally.
"There are so many participants but the government is cowardly, likes to prevent demonstrations which is the right of the people, we have it in the constitution," he points out.
Asked if the rally is Chinese-dominated, Mahathir says there is no question about race.
"Everyone is concerned about the government we have here now," he adds.
On the turnout appearing to be poorer than the last rally, he says: "We keep on doing something [...] the government is using the police to prevent people from having a peaceful rally."
Commenting on the police blockade, Mahathir admits they are doing their duty.
"But we are doing this peacefully. There shouldn't be blockades. This is what we say undermining democracy, it's not Bersih who is undermining democracy," he says.
DPM says more red and yellow will be arrested
2.45pm: Bagan Datoh (Perak) - Police have identified several individuals related to the Bersih and red-shirts rallies, says Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Zahid, who is also home minister, says the police will arrest them before they are charged in court.
However, he declined to reveal the identities of those on the list.
"The issue of unfairness on the part of the police does not arise since the authorities have taken action against the main leaders of the two groups.
"The arrest of the leaders is a signal from the police that the law must be respected although the rallies continue.
"There is no issue of abuse of power because those arrested do not come from one side. More will be arrested," he adds.
Reds at Padang Merbok disspiate
2.15pm: Padang Merbok - The number of reds at Padang Merbok are dwindling as groups in turns leave the field.
Although there is some tension earlier when a group of five reds want to go out past the police barricade, tensions ease after they back down.
Red-shirts participants are now walking from Padang Merbok via Jalan Tun Ismail and Jalan Sultan Sulaiman towards the Bank Negara commuter station possibly to head home or relocate.
Reds: Jamal, Ampang duo get four days remand
2.17pm: Ampang - At the Ampang Magistrate's Court red-shirts leader Jamal Md Yunos has been given a four-day remand order.
He is being remanded along with two others who are also remanded for four days to facilitate inveatigations into the incident at Ampang point.
According to legal adviser Mohd Imran Tamrin they are being brought to the Shah Alam detention centre.
They are being investigated under section 147 of the Penal Code for rioting, section 186 for obstruction of a public officer and under Section 353.
All three are represented by Mohd Nasir Yusof and Khairul Anuar Kashim.
Maria placed under Sosma, nabbed 9 remanded
2.15pm: Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah has been detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.
In a text message to Malaysiakini, inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed this.
[Click here to read full report]
The other nine detained yesterday have been given two days' remand at the hearing this morning.
As for Jamal Md Yunos, he appears at Ampang Magistrate's Court at 2pm.
Meanwhile according to Bersih's official Twitter, Pasir Pinji assemblyperson Howard Lee has been arrested and brought to Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters.

Kit Siang and Guan Eng hoof it to Dataran
2pm: KL Sentral - Hundreds of Bersih rally-goers are spotted in the city's public transport hub cum shopping mall in Brickfields.
They are looking for lunch and taking a break before continuing their trek to Dataran Merdeka.
Meanwhile, DAP leaders, including Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng are walking from Jalan Tun Sambathan towards the iconic square.
Bersih breaks for prayers
13.30pm: Jalan Travers Bangsar - Muslim Bersih participants take a break for zohor prayers. A volunteer intones the azan and requests for the crowds to make space for prayers.
Spreading newspapers on the floor in place of mats, roughly 50 Muslim rallyers conduct their afternoon prayers.
‘Leaderless’ Bersih crowd snap selfies to kill time
1.20pm: Jalan Tun Perak - Some 5,000 Bersih supporters here are leaderless as there are no
prominent figures from the opposition or Bersih present.
The area is not one of the designated gathering points for Bersih 5, but was used in past rallies.
In order to kill time, they resort to snapping selfies and photographs with friends and FRU personnel.
It is believed that former Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Screenavasan is on her way by LRT to lead the crowd here.
Red-shirt student claims he got RM50
1.10pm: Jalan Kinabalu - About 200 red-shirts arrive at Jalan Kinabalu but are not allowed to enter Padang Merbok by the police.
Meanwhile a red-shirt demonstrator from Slim River, Perak, who only wants to be known as Asyraf, claims he was paid RM50 to attend.
The 17-year-old Kuala Kubu Baru secondary school student declines to have his photo taken because his father may get angry if he sees it.
Asked why he is here to protest against Bersih, Asyraf says he wanted to come because of the (alleged) payment and free meals.
Dr M lands at airport, clad in Bersih 5 T-shirt
1.05pm: Location unknown - Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrives from Sudan for the Bersih 5 rally.
Blogger Firdaus Abdullah shared a photograph of Mahathir alighting from the plane in a Bersih 5 T-shirt.
It is unclear if Mahathir landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport or Subang airport.
The 91-year-old former premier is expected to join the Bersih rally along with other Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) leaders at 2pm.
Some disagree with Ambiga’s ‘stay put’ decision
1pm: Jalan Travers - Some of those along Jalan Travers are insisting on pressing ahead although Ambiga Sreenevasan saying earlier that a decision has been made to stay put.
"Ambiga didn't ask for our stand. We don't accept what Ambiga said," says one of them.
The Bersih security team, clad in purple T-shirts, are currently forming a human barricade to prevent them from going towards the police barricade.
Earlier, the police prevented them from marching towards Dataran Merdeka, warning that if the orders are breached, they will fire tear gas.
At the Bangsar LRT station, a steady stream of protestors in yellow shirts are leaving the group gathered near Jalan Travers which is stationary.
The heat is taking a toll on protesters, many of whom are making a beeline for convenience stores and restaurants for refreshments.
I’m here for my grandchildren, says elderly red-shirts supporter
1pm: Padang Merbok - An elderly man, who identifies himself only as Pak Wan, says he is with the red-shirts for the sake of his 25 grandchildren.
The 75 year-old grandfather says he left his house at 9am and met with his friends from Lembah Subang. They started their march to Padang Merbok from the Bank Negara commuter station near PWTC.
"I brought panadol in my bag. I have to inject myself with insulin four times a day. My bag is filled with medicine," he says, pointing to his backpack.
Pak Wan says he feels hurt seeing Malays wearing the yellow Bersih t-shirt.
Azalina: Bersih an opposition movement
12.55pm: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said criticises Bersih for manipulating the public.
She also claims the electoral watchdog has become an opposition movement.
Barred, but Ambiga calls it a victory
12.50pm: Jalan Travers - Ambiga Sreenevasan tells the press that the crowd from Bangsar has to stop here because the police will not allow them to pass.
"They will not allow us through. If not (if we go ahead), they will shoot tear gas. We are sticking here. Other leaders may hop on a train to move to other places," she says.
Despite being barred, Ambiga says it has been a "victory" for them.
"Without a doubt. (The turnout) is more than I have expected. They thought by threatening and arresting us we will be scared but more have come out," she claims
Ambiga estimates there are at least 100,000 people here, despite photographs showing the numbers present being far more less than that.
"Only here is 100,000. The other side I'm not so sure," she says.
‘We have proved reds are peace loving’
12.47pm: Padang Merbok - Umno Youth exco Armand Azha tells reporters that red-shirts arriving at Padang Merbok proves that the group cherishes peace.
Asked on what will happen next, he replies that they will “relax”.
“We want to demonstrate that we love peace, unlike the yellow shirts. Today proves that it is wrong to accuse the reds as violent and radical.
“We also adhered to the police’s orders,” he adds.
Bersih on two wheels
12.45pm: Jalan Travers - Despite the afternoon heat, a Bersih 5 participant cycles with his wife and one-year old child on an electric bicycle. A friend, who is also on a bicycle, accompanies them.
Bersih participants forced to take longer route
12.35pm: Masjid Negara -  The group here of about 3,000 starts moving towards Masjid Jamek.
Bersih steering committee member Jay Jay Denis says the police are not allowing them to march towards Jalan Raja Laut.
"It (the roads) is blocked so we're going to take a longer route (to Masjid Jamek)," he tells Malaysiakini.
The group is also chanting "Bersih" along the tune of Louis Armstrong's 'When The Saints Go Marching In', along with shouts of "Reformasi", "Bebas Maria" and "Bebas Rakyat".
Crowd estimate: 14k Bersih supporters, more than 4k red shirts
12.30pm: Kuala Lumpur - Some 14,000 Bersih supporters and more than 4,000 red shirts begin moving from their respective gathering points.
At Dataran Maybank, some 4,500 Bersih supporters march along Jalan Bangsar but are stopped at Jalan Travers.
They are not allowed to move towards Dataran Merdeka, cutting them off from another Bersih group at Masjid Negara.
At Masjid Negara, some 3,000 Bersih supporters are present.
However, the largest Bersih crowd is at non-designated gathering areas.
Bersih supporters from Jalan Pudu have merged with Jalan Tun Perak and are flooding into the edge of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Raja Laut.
There are around 4,500 Bersih supporters along Jalan Tun Perak while those at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman swell to 1,500.
There are also around 500 yellow shirts along Jalan Raja Laut.
Meanwhile, the red-shirts cleared out of Jalan Raja Laut and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and moved to Padang Merbok, their planned convergence point.
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Police adamant Bersih protesters remain at Jalan Travers
12.30pm: Jalan Travers - Police remain adamant on not allowing Bersih demonstrators to pass through the police blockade along Jalan Travers, to head to Dataran Merdeka.
"They can just gather there (at Jalan Travers), they will not be allowed to pass through the police line," says one of the officers negotiating with Ambiga Sreenevasan.
‘We don’t want to be ruled by Jewish proxies’
12.25pm: Jalan Kuching - Norazimah, 60, and her three friends stand out among a sea of red comprising mostly youths.
"We just want Malays to be united... For our country to be ruled by Muslims, not by Jewish proxies," she says.
She adds that while the red-shirts may look "ganas" (aggressive), they are however good people.
"Look at the Chinese reporters, are they being attacked? No, right?" she asks.
Cops stop Bangsar Bersih crowd at Jln Travers
12.25pm, Jalan Travers - Former Bersih chair Ambiga Sreenevasan continue to negotiate with police, for the yellow-shirts who gathered at Bangsar to continue their march towards Dataran Merdeka
About 200 police officers are currently on duty, blocking the route which the Bersih 5 demonstrators need to take to reach their destination.
The police are however adamant that they cannot proceed.
"They will be allowed to gather here only, they will not be allowed to get past the police barricade," says a police officer who is negotiating with Ambiga.
Police allow red-shirts to march to Padang Merbok
12.05pm: Jalan Raja Laut - After negotiation with Armand and Musa, police allow the red-shirts to march down Jalan Kuching, and then on to Padang Merbok via Jalan Kinabalu.
FRU orders protesters to vacate Jalan TAR
11.55am: Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman - FRU personnel begin to lock down Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Raja Laut heading towards the Sogo shopping centre.
An announcement is broadcasted via loudhailer asking all to vacate both sides of the roads in front of the shopping centre.
"Please vacate the left and right side of the roads. Please give your cooperation," says an officer as he rings the bell on the FRU truck.
Cops tell red-shirts to discard wood, bamboo poles
11.50am: Jalan Raja Laut - About 4,000 red-shirts gather in front of Pertama Complex as their representative Armand Azha and Musa Sheikh Fadzir negotiate with the police to allow them to march along Jalan Kuching towards Padang Merbok.
Before allowing them to move, police asks that they do not bring along any sharp objects or the wood and bamboo poles used for their red flags.
As of now negotiations is ongoing.
Red-shirts pelt Bersih supporters with water bottles
11.50am: Jalan Mara - Things get heated as red-shirts flood the road from Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman towards Jalan Raja Laut.
As the group marches, they notice five Bersih supporters at an eatery around the corner and start to heckle them.
Red-shirt enforcers however quickly step in and tell their group not to disturb the Bersih supporters.
Some place themselves between the red-shirts and the Bersih supporters, urging the crowd to move on.
"Kami bangsa bermaruah (We are a race with dignity) ," shouts one of the enforcers as he urges the group to keep moving.
However some supporters throw water bottles at the Bersih supporters.
The tension however is brief as the crowd quickly exits Jalan Mara into Jalan Raja Laut.
Forced to change from yellow to red
11.45am: Medan Tuanku - A Bersih 5 supporter, who identifies himself only as Pak Su Mat, claims he was harassed by the red-shirts, who forced him to change his yellow T-shirt for a red one.
He claims he was almost punched by the group who moved on after he changed the T-shirt.
"They are only brave when they are in a big group," he says.
More than 10k Bersih supporters, 3k red-shirts flood KL
11.40am: Kuala Lumpur - More than 10,000 Bersih supporters have converged at various points in the city while there are some 3,000 red-shirts.
Despite vowing to be present wherever Bersih 5 supporters gather, the red-shirts are absent from Dataran Maybank in Bangsar and Masjid Negara.
At Bangsar, some 3,000 Bersih supporters have converged at Dataran Maybank.
Another 2,000 Bersih protesters are at Masjid Negara. The red-shirts who occupied Masjid Negara yesterday are nowhere to be seen after dispersing late night following the arrest of their ground leader Razali Zakaria.
Interestingly, a large number of Bersih supporters have gathered at Jalan Tun Perak and Jalan Pudu, locations not designated as gathering points but have been usual gathering places for past Bersih rallies.
Bersih supporters at Jalan Tun Perak and Jalan Pudu number at 3,500 and 2,000 respectively.
There are also pockets of Bersih protesters elsewhere, including around 350 on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman
Meanwhile, some 2,000 red-shirts who converged at (PWTC have marched to join the red-shirts at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, bringing their total number close to 3,000.
Bersih security personnel urges supporters to vacate Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
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Elderly couple forsake sleep for Bersih
11.38am: Masjid Negara -  An elderly couple from Johor has been camping in the area since 5am, after arriving in Kuala Lumpur at 11pm last night.
"We got here at 5am, prayed and have been here since. We haven’t slept," says Norya Esa, 54.
The housewife adds her entire family is here, including her children and their spouses.
Her husband, who wanted to be known only as Azman, says they are kampung people who do not earn much and are affected by the poor economy.
"What we want is a change in leadership. If we change the leader, perhaps the economy will improve," he says.
Protesters snap selfies in front of FRU vehicles
11.35am: Jalan Tun Perak - More than 3,000 Bersih supporters converge at Jalan Tun Perak, near Dataran Merdeka, which has been cordoned off by the police.
With nowhere to go, the protesters sit and chant "Bersih", "hidup rakyat" and "dedak".
Seven FRU trucks, including water cannons, are parked along the road. This prompts some of the protesters to snap selfies with the vehicles in the background.
Police may carry out more arrests
11.20am - Police confirm that of the 14 individuals arrested yesterday, 10 were related to the Bersih 5 rally.
The police are on the lookout for several other individuals linked to the pro-electoral reform movement.
The other four, Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, red-shirts leaders Jamal Md Yunos and Ariffin Abu Bakar as well as DAP MP Anthony Loke were detained in connection with other matters.
Red-shirts on the march towards Dataran, for ‘sightseeing’
11.10am: PWTC - Some 2,000 red-shirts are marching towards Dataran Merdeka through Jalan Putra chanting "La ilaha illallah (There is no other god, but Allah)” and “Allahu akbar (God is Great)”. They also sing "Inilah Barisan Kita".
According to one of the red-shirts leaders and Umno Youth exco Armand Azha, the group wants to go “sightseeing” around Dataran Merdeka.
He also promises that no untoward incidents will occur.
“We want to go sightseeing at Dataran Merdeka. Nothing will happen, we are just going sightseeing,” he says.
Also present is Penang Umno leader Musa Sheikh Fadzir.
  
‘Kuning, kuning, Najib pening’
11.00am: St John’s Cathedral - Annie Ong, who is popularly known as ‘Aunty Bersih’, says she is joining the rally because she wants the money “stolen from her” to be returned.
"We have been quiet for such a long time... Now, we are in yellow. ‘Kuning, kuning, (yellow, yellow) Najib pening (dizzy), that is what we want, " she adds in reference to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
The 70-year-old, who never fails to make an appearance during Bersih rallies, is also unfazed about the possibility of the police firing tear gas and water cannons.
"It is only causes  five-minutes of discomfort, who cares about water cannons," she says.
Red-shirts pass through Bersih crowd, no interaction
10.50am: Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman - A group of about 30 red-shirts coming from the direction of Masjid India, walk through a gap between the Bersih crowd.
The red-shirts and Bersih supporters do not interact with each other.
One of the red-shirts, a man in his 50s who identified himself as Tuan Mat, tells Malaysiakini that the group is headed towards Padang Merbok.
However, once at Jalan Raja Laut, the red-shirts encounter police barricades.
Upon being notified that the red-shirts are now gathering at PWTC, the groups heads in that direction.
Bishop holds prayer, then changes into Bersih T-shirt
10.50am: St. John's Cathedral - A special prayer has been called by the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur which attracts more than 300.
This is to pray for a peaceful Bersih rally and peaceful Malaysia, says head of the Malacca-Johor diocese Bishop Bernard Paul. (photo: centre)
"Every change begins with us, we have to do our part, God will also do his part, " he says, before changing into a Bersih T-shirt and joining the rally.
Paul is also not concerned about a police clampdown on protesters, saying the police have been mobilised to protect peaceful Malaysians. -Mkini

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