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Friday, November 18, 2016

LIVE: Red Shirts supporters leaving Padang Merbok

After months of scuffles, mudslinging and stern warnings from authorities, the capital is braced for the Bersih 5 rally, as well as a counter rally called by the Red Shirts.
2.50pm: Red Shirts supporters have begun to leave Padang Merbok, with many having decided to call it a day. They have however left a sea of litter in their wake.
2.40pm: Red Shirts leader Jamal Yunos and two others from his group have been given a four-day remand order by the Ampang Magistrate’s Court.
The trio is being remanded in relation to investigations into the clash at the Ampang Point shopping mall last Sunday. The trio will be brought to the Shah Alam detention centre.
They are being investigated under Section 147 of the Penal Code for rioting, as well as Section 186 and Section 353 for obstructing a public servant from discharging their duty.
2.30pm: A group of Red Shirts supporters tried to chase away former Formula 1 driver, Alex Yoong, who showed up wearing a yellow T-shirt.
Yoong’s pursuers however gave up the chase after police intervened and calmed them down.
Yoong said he was only there to observe what was happening on the ground.
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1.51pm: Umno Youth leader Armand Azhar Abu Hanifah tries to negotiate with police to allow five Red Shirts supporters to go past the barricades at Padang Merbok.
He explains that the five wanted to leave the rally to return home following the death of a family member.
Police however said the five could only go pass the barricade for a discussion with them once the men removed their red shirts but relent when told they did not have a change of clothing with them.
The matter is still under discussion.
block1.16pm: All access to  Dataran Merdeka is blocked.
1.12pm: Reports are circulating on the ground that Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Muhyddin Yassin and Mukhriz Mahathir will be making an appearance at Bersih 5.
Political blogger Firdaus Abdullah posted a picture on Twitter of Mahathir alighting from a plane wearing the Bersih 5 T-shirt. The blogger tweeted: “#Bersih5 Return of the Statesman. #Leadership#DrM See you in Kuala Lumpur in a while.”
1.00pm: Rafizi Ramli says this is a historic day because after this Bersih will be under the leadership of a new government. He advises everyone to gather in large groups and not small groups, to prevent the likelihood of any untoward incidents.
12.57pm: When asked about the number of Red Shirts supporters who turned up today, Umno Youth’s Armand Azhar Abu Hanifah said, “I didn’t bring my calculator and I don’t like to lie or make up facts.” (Ambiga Sreenevasan was earlier quoted as saying there were 100,000 Bersih 5 participants at Dataran Maybank).
He said what was important was that the Red Shirts was not a radical movement and they obeyed the law.
“But look at us, we walked from the PWTC to Dataran (Merdeka) and now to Padang Merbok.”
FMT estimates the number of Red Shirts supporters present as around 3,000.
12.48pm: DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago cries foul over police’s blockade in Jalan Bangsar, dismissing it as unfair. “Bersih was here first so they should be given the right to march through.” He said it didn’t make sense to allow Red Shirts supporters to march from PWTC towards Padang Merbok while at the same time preventing Bersih 5 participants at Dataran Maybank from heading towards Dataran Merdeka.
“Police have done a major injustice to Bersih and its supporters, who have come from all over the country.”
PKR’s Batu MP Tian Chua says they will obey the police’s directive and not pass through the barricade. “We will stay and we will see how to combine the groups. For the time being, we will stay here and carry on with our speeches.”
12.45pm: Traders in Jalan TAR are cashing in on Bersih 5 by selling yellow sandals.
12.42pm: Rafizi Ramli arrives at the entrance of Dataran Merdeka in front of the CIMB Bank to loud cheers from the crowd.
12.38pm: Ambiga says, “They (the police) have blocked everything, which I’m a bit surprised about. This side alone is about 100,000 people.
“We can’t march to Dataran (Merdeka). So now we will continue our activities here.
“We have succeeded because we have not given in to any intimidation.”
“What’s happened today is what is going to give us hope. Today people have shown us that this country is worth fighting for … and people are willing to fight for it.”
12.34pm: Bersih 5 participants are showing signs of fatigue as their movements have been hampered. They are now still awaiting their comrades from Masjid Negara and Bangsar to join them.
Most Bersih 5 participants are beginning to frequent food stalls in the area.
12.30pm: Khalid Samad (MP for Shah Alam) says police will not compromise and are under strict orders not to allow anyone to go past the barricades. Charles Santiago says police told protesters not to cross the yellow line.
12.21pm: Khalid Samad, Tian Chua, Ambiga, Charles Santiago are with the crowd in Dataran Maybank.
12.15pm: Bersih 5 participants near Masjid Negara are still milling around.
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12.00pm: As of now, 3,000 people are at the Jalan Bangsar LRT station.
About 600 Red Shirts supporters make their way to Dataran Merbok after being refused entry into Dataran Merdeka, where Bersih 5 participants are gathering.
Trains from KL Sentral heading to the city, with four coaches each in the past five minutes, are all full, half of whom are Bersih 5 participants.
barricade11.57am: Bersih 5 participants march towards the barricade at Jalan Bangsar.
11.50am: A group of disabled Bersih 5 participants in front of Nu Sentral along Jalan Tun Sambanthan head into the city. They are from the Beautiful Gate Foundation Homes in Kepong and Petaling Jaya.
Police meanwhile have barricaded Jalan Bangsar.
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11.40am: The Red Shirts are stopped from coming any closer to Dataran Merdeka. A speaker tells the crowd to be patient.
“I have spoken to the police and they have agreed to let us move to Padang Merbok,” the identified speaker said.
“Unlike Bersih, we are law-abiding citizens.”
11.33am: Bersih 5 crowd from Masjid Jamek starts the march towards Dataran Merdeka.
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11.31am: Strong FRU presence as Red Shirts supporters are expected to arrive at Dataran Merdeka soon.
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11.31am: Red Shirts supporters are close to reaching the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka.
11.31am: Singer Aishah addresses Bersih 5 participants and later dedicates a song to those present.
In her speech, she says the people are fed up and want the government to listen to them before they rebel.
“We are here to protest peacefully. We want a progressive Malaysia.”
The Janji Manismu singer also said the people had enough of being cheated, and lamented that whistleblowers were being jailed as well.
“This cannot continue.”
11.28am: More Bersih 5 participants are flooding into the city. As of 11.25am, almost 3,000 have gathered around Dataran Maybank and are preparing to march towards Dataran Merdeka.
Booklets of the late Shukri Saad, who committed suicide by jumping off the Penang Bridge recently, was spotted under a tree near Masjid Negara. The eight-page booklet contained excerpts from Shukri’s Facebook page. In his suicide note, Shukri claimed the government was victimising him for selling contraband cigarettes.
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11.20am: Red Shirts have started their march from the PWTC led by Armand Azhar Abu Hanifa. They chant “Allahuakhbar” and “Long Live the Malays”. Prior to the start of the march, some 1000 packets of food was distributed to the Red Shirts.
11.00am: A 50-year-old Chinese woman, who only wanted to be known as a Malaysian, was spotted standing near a police barricade in front of Dataran Merdeka. She has been there for over an hour.
Held over her head was a yellow box that she said the Buddhist believed could provide good health. She was shaking from standing under the hot morning sun and broke down in tears when asked why she was here today.
“I’m here to promote peace,” she said.
Meanwhile over 2,000 people are present at the Bangsar LRT station.
Red Shirts supporters continue to gather at the PWTC. They will be heading towards the Sogo Shopping Complex at approximately 12pm and then onwards to Dataran Merdeka.
More than 3,000 Bersih 5 participants have gathered in front of the Masjid Jamek LRT station.
After discussions with the police, the Bersih 2.0’s secretariat’s four-wheel drive has been allowed entry near the vicinity of Masjid Negara.
10.50am: Tony Pua addresses crowd in front of the Bangsar LRT station and reminds the IGP that Bersih is not trying to topple the government through undemocratic means.
“We still have hope. Malaysia’s hope is in the hands of the people.”
10.49: Activist Hishamuddin Rais is detained by police in Bangsar, according to the secretariat of Bersih 2.0, Jay Jay Dennis.
10.43am: In Masjid Negara, Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM) Secretary-General Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz said his group brought along a mock tombstone as a sign that democracy in Malaysia remains only a memory.
“Democracy has been killed in the name of unfair elections which have been manipulated.”
“Secondly, we are here to stress that rejecting and opposing corruption is a requirement in Islam. We want to counter the narrative that this demonstration is illegal.”
10:37am: A Bersih coordinator announces that the entrance to the Masjid Jamek LRT station will function as a checkpoint and temporary stage for individuals who wish to speak to the crowd.
The coordinator also urged participants to sit down in front of the LRT station.
10:20am: Some 130 Orang Asli from Pahang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Kelantan are here, carrying anti-logging banners that read: “Defend the rights of Orang Asli” and “Stop the logging license”.
Mustafa Along, 29, an Orang Asli from the Temiar tribe in Gua Musang, Kelantan says his group’s mission today is to voice their objections against the encroachment of Orang Asli land.
“We were part of the blockade against loggers in Kelantan recently. Today is an assembly for the people, where we can explain our plight and demands.”
“We can also make our voices heard to the Federal and state governments. Land is under the state government’s jurisdiction, but it does not look like the Federal government is helping us.”
10.18am: The crowd at Dataran Merdeka has swelled to 1,500 people.
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10.17am: More than a thousand Red Shirts supporters have gathered in the vicinity of the PWTC. Umno Youth Exco Armand Azhar Abu Hanifah is among them. Many are upset however at having to walk so far from PWTC to Masjid Jamek only to be told now that they have to march towards Dataran Merdeka instead where Bersih 5 participants are gathered.
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Led by Armand, the group is now making its way to Dataran Merdeka, after being placated by the leaders and given drinks.
10.08am: Coffee and sandwiches available for Bersih 5 participants. Khairul, 30, an employee of Kopi Boy, began selling sandwiches at 7am, but business was still slow.“I am going around the city to sell my sandwiches,” he said, at Dataran Maybank in Bangsar.
“After this I am heading to Dataran Merdeka where everyone is gathering,” he said, adding he has sold some 20 of the 150 sandwiches he prepared.
10.02am: Wheelchair-bound Syakirin Abdul Aziz comes all the way from Gombak to distribute mineral water for free, to Bersih 5 participants. He was seen traversing the area in front of Masjid Jamek. “This is the first time I’m coming to help and attend the Bersih event,” he told FMT.
10.00am: Meanwhile, student activist Adam Adli showed up at Dataran Maybank.
Speaking to the crowds, he said 20 police officers paid him a visit last night, and said, “…but today I’m here.”
“The next generation will thank us today. We are not doing this for ourselves, this is for our next generation. So that we do not inherit a corrupt nation in the future.”
10.00am: Bersih 2.0 co-chairperson Shahrul Aman Mohd Saari says police road blocks have made it difficult for the Bersih 2.0 secretariat to enter the Masjid Negara area, as their four-wheel drive, which is used as a makeshift stage was not allowed into the area.
At present, there are some 400 Bersih 5 participants in the area.
9.55am: Crowds start to build up in front of the Masjib Jamek LRT station, blasting their vuvuzelas.
9.53am: Ambiga addresses a crowd of 500 at the Bangsar LRT station. “Yesterday was a bad day. In the morning they (the authorities) dragged Malaysiakini to court. In the afternoon, they raided the Bersih (office) and arrested Maria and Mandeep, Anis and so many others. Although they (those arrested) are not with us, they are proud of us today.”
Ambiga said there was no reason for the people to be afraid. “They tried to stop Bersih 5 but it seems that they have failed.”
9.43am: More policeman are stationed at the junction next to Dataran Merdeka.
Ambiga is joined by Mat Sabu at Dataran Maybank.
9.30am: Some 200 Red Shirts supporters have gathered at the Bandaraya LRT station after marching from Masjid Jamek to Jalan TAR where they clashed briefly with some Bersih 5 participants. The Red Shirts supporters from the Bandaraya LRT station are being joined by their comrades in front of Sogo Shopping Centre and are moving towards the PWTC where more of them have gathered.
9.29am: Former Bersih chair Ambiga Sreenevasan says, “I miss her. Maria may not be here but she is here in spirit. We must go on, we must go on!” Crowd is heard shouting back, “Hidup Ambiga!”
Ambiga replies, “Nobody is afraid. We are going on. Maria, Mandeep and everyone else (who was arrested earlier) are here in spirit. All of us here who have come out, we are going out!”
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9.20am: In Jalan TAR, Bersih 5 participants were heard taunting Red Shirts supporters who had earlier barged into them and a security barrier formed by their volunteers. The situation is now under control.
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9.15am: Some participants have shown up, dressed for a costume party. Meanwhile Red Shirts and Bersih 5 participants are gathering in numbers, with some 300 Bersih 5 supporters having gathered in front of the Bangsar LRT station.
9.12am: Approximately 30 youths in red shirts are spotted marching towards Dataran Merdeka.
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9.10am: Members of the Malaysian Bar are also on the scene attending as observers.
9.00am: More pedlars have arrived to sell Bersih 5 T-shirts in front of Masjid Jamek.
8.54am: Dataran Merdeka is clear with visible presence of police personnel.
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8.40am: Metal barricades are placed on roads leading to Dataran Merdeka. Meanwhile three kids are seen selling pieces of cloth and bandanas bearing the Bersih 5 logo, in front of Masjid Negara. One is nine and the other two, 10 years of age.
8.20am: Lawyer for Red Shirts Mohd Imran Tamrin confirms that Jamal Yunos will be taken to the Ampang Sessions Court at 2.00pm today.
8.19am: FRU trucks make their way through the area along Masjid Jamek, and scores of policemen are seen attending to what looks like a briefing session.
8.15am: Crowds of Bersih supporters seen near the National Mosque. They had arrived from the northern states earlier, but many are not donning the yellow T-shirts for now.


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