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 has criticised Bersih for manipulating the public.
She also claimed 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
“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.
Activist Hishammuddin Rais arrested
10.30am: Bersih steering committee member and activist Hishammuddin Rais has been arrested in Bangsar Utama.
He was arrested while having a drink at a restaurant after delivering a speech to a group of Bersih 5 participants.
“Although I won’t be there, continue with the struggle,” he says before being taken away in a police car.
Don’t overturn a single flower pot, Bersih participants told
10.25am: Bangsar LRT station – Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president Mohamad Sabu tells Bersih participants to ensure that “not even one flower pot is overturned”.
“Bersih 4 was the most peaceful rally. Let’s make sure that Bersih 5 is more peaceful,” he tells the participants.
Universiti Malaya (UM) law lecturer Azmi Sharom, on the other hand, was initially clad in a white shirt bearing the number ‘5’.
“I’m wearing this because I’m afraid of getting caught by the police. But now I will change into this,” he says, changing into a yellow Bersih T-shirt.
“Who is trying to threaten democracy? We didn’t say that we will kill anyone,” he adds.
Other prominent leaders giving speeches are activist Marina Mahathir, Amanah’s Dzulkefly Ahmad and DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang.
Hundreds of red-shirts gather at PWTC
10.20am: PWTC – Some 1,000 red-shirts arrive from various points around Kuala Lumpur.
Umno Youth exco Armand Azha Abu Hanifah addresses the crowd, and tells them to await further actions.
At PWTC, there are three buses parked in front of the Seri Pacific hotel, and more around the side of the building.
Muar baker offers ‘Bersih roti’ for hungry rallyers
10.15am: Petaling Street – Feeling a bit hungry attending Bersih 5 rally? No worries, there is always free ‘Bersih roti’ up for grabs.
A total of 10,500 loafs of bread are being distributed at Petaling Street to the public, as a gesture of support for the rally.
The man in charge Tan Soon Kit, 23, has come all the way from Muar, Johor to Kuala Lumpur yesterday with his mission to fill the protestors’ stomachs.
He tells Malaysiakini that this is the second time they are distributing free Bersih bread since the last mega rally.
“We are in the bread and cake industry. Before this rally, our donation drive has raised RM4,000, and we are distributing 10500 slices of bread, ” he says enthusiastically, adding “free roti, free GST”.
On top of it, another bakery has sponsored 1,200 pieces of cake.
Although the food has been prepared for Bersih, Tan says everyone including the red-shirts can have it.
Some protestors grab the chance to take photos with him after taking their ‘Bersih roti’.
M’sians in Canberra hold Bersih 5 picnic
10.12am: Canberra – About 40 Malaysians living in Canberra gathered for a picnic to support Bersih 5.
The gathering at Canberra Nara Park, attracts not only the participation of the Malaysian diaspora residing in the Austalian city, but also university students who stayed back during semester break.
This is the fourth time Malaysians in Canberra are participating as part of the global Bersih movement. Previous gatherings were held in solidarity with Bersih 2 in 2011, Bersih 3 in 2012 and last year’s Bersih 4.
Barricades erected to keep yellows, reds apart
10.10pm: Jalan Kinabalu – Barricades manned by over 100 police personnel have been erected, blocking all access roads from Masjid Negara to Dataran Merdeka.
An officer from the Dang Wangi district police headquarters tells Malaysiakini that the barricades are to seperate Bersih supporters and the red-shirts.
“We just want everything to go peacefully and end peacefully,” the officer says.
As at 9.45am, roughly 1,000 reds have been spotted around the Jalan Raja Laut vicinity.
Adam Adli rouses 1,000-strong Bersih crowd
10am: Bangsar – Activist Adam Adli’s arrival raises the spirits of some 1,000 Bersih 5 supporters at Bangsar LRT.
Speaking to the crowd, he claims he had escaped being picked up by the police last night.
“Malaysians are not rattled, Malaysians are not afraid,” he says.
“The whole world is witnessing how the people of Malaysia can fight for our sovereignty.
“Last night I was nearly detained by roughly 20 policemen from Bukit Aman, but I have succeeded in getting here,” he says.
Present are Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and several other leaders.
Red shirts march singing ‘Inilah Barisan Kita’
9.37am: Sogo – More than 1,000 red-shirts are marching towards PWTC via Jalan Raja Laut while singing ‘Inilah Barisan Kita’. There are some 20 FRU personnel at the scene.
Ambiga: They fear the truth
9.30am: Bangsar LRT station– Former Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan tells the crowd of over 1,000 that yesterday was “a bad day”.
Ambiga cites Malaysiakini which was “dragged to court”, the raid at the Bersih headquarters as well as the spate of arrests.
“Although they (those arrested) are not here, their spirit is here with us. Their message is to continue with Bersih 5,” she says.
“What are they afraid of? They are afraid of the truth, Bersih 5’s strength and your support,” she adds.
Taiping reds supporters ‘wait for instructions’
9.28am: Masjid Negara – No red shirts are spotted here but roughly 20 youths from Taiping dressed in regular clothes say they are here to support the anti-Bersih movement.
They tell Malaysiakini they arrived on a bus at 5am.
When asked why they have come, they say, “I don’t know, we are here for the red shirts.
“We are just waiting, because it seems there’s nothing going on here,” says one youth.
“We’ll just follow whatever happens later.”
They say they have not been given any instructions and are free to do as they please.
‘We are all Maria, Mandeep’ says Ambiga
9.20: Bangsar – Bersih supporters gathered at the LRT station welcome the arrival of Hakam president S Ambiga.
The former Bersih co-chairperson in her brief speech notes the festive mood of today’s gathering despite the arrest of present Bersih chair Maria Chin Abdullah and secretary Mandeep Singh.
“We are all Maria, we are all Mandeep,” she declares to the crowd.
200 reds show up against Bersih
9.15am: Masjid Jamek – A crowd of some 200 red-shirts briefly face off with another crowd of some 300 Bersih supporters opposite Swiss Hotel near the LRT, as they make their way to Padang Merbok.
Cheering “Hidup Merah!,” the crowd walks pass the Bandaraya LRT here.
The Bersih purple security team upon spotting the red-shirts, forms a human barricade to prevent their advance.
The red-shirts are now walking towards Sogo shopping mall, and stops at the Bandaraya LRT
‘Arab Donor’ makes comeback crooning Sha La La La
9.10am: Bangsar LRT – The attention-grabbing ‘Arab donor’ makes an appearance yet again.Clad in traditional Arab garb, it is hard to ignore the man’s presence, who made his first appearance at last year’s Bersih 4 rally.
He even goes on to sing his take on the song ‘Sha La La La’ by Danish Glam Rock band The Walkers.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak belted the song with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte at a private dinner during the latter’s visit to Malaysia.
“Sha la la la, mari datang bersama-sama (let’s come together),” the ‘Arab man’ croons.
The man, Mok Sek Chool, tells Malaysiakini he is here at the Bersih rally as the “government has not been able to answer” questions with regard to the RM2.6 billion donation issue.
“That’s why I made this costume, to make people know (about the issue),” he says.
The 27-year-old, who describes himself as “just a citizen”, says he will keep doing this to ensure more people will know about the issue.
Despite the heat and possible rain, Mok will be marching all the way to Dataran Merdeka in the costume.
Najib has been heavily criticised after an expose in The Wall Street Journal revealed RM2.6 billion had been deposited into his personal accounts.
The authorities have since cleared him of any wrongdoing, claiming the amount was a donation from the Arabs.
No reds spotted in Bangsar
9am: Bangsar – Observing the area from Jalan Bukit Pantai to Dataran Maybank since 8am till now, Malaysiakini sees no reds supporters.
Most of the roads leading to Bangsar have been closed since 7am.
Meanwhile Penang DAP chief Chow Kon Yeow reports on Facebook buses they have hired to ferry supporters from the north have backed out for fear or reprisal.
“All five buses chartered by Penang DAP have been cancelled due to last minute intimidation.
“Bus operators do not dare to take the risk of having their permits revoked.
“But still, Penang folk are on their way, by car, air and rail,” writes Chow.
Bangsar LRT stays open8.50am: Bangsar LRT station – LRT services here are going on as usual without any disturbances.
This is despite Pakatan Harapan chief secretary Saifuddin Abdullah tweeting that the station has been closed and advising Bersih participants to get off at nearby stations.
Checks by Malaysiakini however find that passengers are still disembarking at the Bangsar LRT station.
A Prasarana staff tells Malaysiakini that service at the station will not be halted.
“Service will only be stopped if things get out of hand,” he says.
Hardships drive Johoreans to join rally
8.45am: Masjid Negara – Two elderly gentlemen are among the 100 Bersih supporters at the national mosque.
65-year-old Tajuddin Mohamed and Jamaluddin Harun, 57, are both Amanah members from Johor, although they say they have come in their own personal capacity.
They tell Malaysiakini they were motivated by the suffering of the people, especially the young, due to rising costs of living.
“Things are so difficult. As a Muslim, sometimes I can’t even fully focus while praying,” Tajuddin says.
Jamaluddin says they arrived here in the wee hours of the morning aboard a bus filled with other Bersih supporters from various parties.
Pikachu joins the Bersih cause
8.30am: Sogo – A FRU team of around 50 are having a briefing in front of Sogo.
Several trucks and a water cannon are seen parked outside the Dang Wangi district police station.
Police have set up road blocks at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in front of Sogo to prevent people who wear red or yellow from entering the road.
Sogo is not a gathering point for Bersih or red-shirts and so far only a few people in the yellow Bersih tee shirt are spotted passing by the area.
8.20am: Masjid Negara – A man clad in a fuzzy Pikachu outfit is garnering a lot of attention here as people clamour to take pictures with him.
The man, Abdul Malik Abdul Razak, says he came here with a group of others from Kluang, Johor on a bus today.
“Of course, it’s hot (in the outfit).
“I’ll bear with it, because we have to rise up,” he says, pumping his fist in the air.
He plans to march in the outfit, he adds.
Pikachu is a bright yellow mouse-like creature from the popular franchise Pokemon.
8.15am: PWTC – Police have locked down most entry points to downtown Kuala Lumpur. Naturally, streets are unusually empty in the city.
There does not appear to be people gathering at PWTC, where Umno’s headquarters is located. However, one person can be seen selling the reds’ T-shirts by the roadside.
Food and shopping as vendors set up shop
7.50am: Masjid Negara – The first order of the day at the national mosque is breakfast.
Vendors selling nasi lemak and other goods have popped up, and are serving Bersih supporters, policemen, and other folks in regular clothes.
There are also a few stalls selling Bersih merchandise.
About two dozen Bersih protesters in yellow are already here among a crowd of over 50 people dressed in regular clothes.
There is heavy security here, and a FRU water cannon and a command truck are parked next to the mosque, although the officers are staying out of sight and resting in their trucks
Similarly, no the red-shirts have been spotted despite pledging to occupy Masjid Negara yesterday.
Bersih supporters fuel up for long day
7.40am: Petaling Street – Plenty of Bersih protestors have arrived in downtown Kuala Lumpur hours before the rally kicks off, as some are concerned about major road closures and fear being unable to enter the city later.
Petaling Street, which saw a heated red-shirts gathering last September, is peaceful and calm.
Rallygoers are seen having breakfast and preparing for a long day.
FRU gear up for crowd control
7.26am: Masjid Jamek LRT, Jln Tun Perak – The federal reserve unit (FRU) team of 50 members is holding a meeting in front of Masjid Jamek LRT station to discuss their duties in dealing with Bersih and reds crowds.
Along the road seven FRU truck with a water cannons are parked.
Police have cordoned off roads at the end of Jalan Perak and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Raja Laut, barring protesters and journalists from entering Dataran Merdeka.
Over 100 cops stand right in front of the three cordon areas, preventing people from entering Dataran Merdeka.
A LRT staff who passes by says three LRT station around the city centre – Masjid Jamek station, Bandaraya station and Plaza Rakyat station may be closed if chaos (kecoh) erupts.
“But now, the passengers still can take the LRT at these stations,” she says.
Calm before the storm as city awakes
7am: Protestors are set to gather at Jalan Bangsar and Masjid Negara. The city wakes up to its normal routine although road blocks are beginning to be set up.
Dataran Merdeka at the junction of Jln Tun Perak and Jln Tuanku Abdul Rahman is closed off.
At Bangsar, the road from Jln Maarof to Jln Bangsar has been closed off as Dataran Maybank is one of the Bersih gathering points.
It appears to be business as usual at Petaling Street with the flea market and hawkers setting up for business.
However the arrests of Bersih leaders chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah and secretary Mandeep Singh last night along with a number of politicians is an ominous sign for things to come.
The latest of the total 12 arrested is reds leader Sungai Besar Umno chief Jamal Md Yunos, who was picked up at 1.30am.
Meanwhile Clare Rewcastle-Brown speaks on why Bersih 5 is important:
Showdown between Bersih and reds in the heart of KL looms
Tensions between the red-shirts led by Sungai Besar Umno chief Jamal Md Yunos and Bersih will reach its climax today as both groups take to the streets of Kuala Lumpur.
Bersih is rallying for electoral and democratic reforms, and is calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak over the growing 1MDB scandal.
Jamal has vowed to stop the Bersih rally wherever they gather today.
The Bersih rally officiall kicks off at 10am and will end at 5pm.
Police have declared both rallies illegal, and a sizeable deployment is expected.
Malaysiakini brings the action live from the ground.