MASSIVE CRACKDOWN ON OPPOSITIONS
The 9 July 2011 BERSIH (Malaysian democracy movement) ‘walk for democracy’ protest will be recorded as another important date in the fight for freedom and democracy in Malaysia. It is the country’s biggest political protest in four years, in which 20,000 to 30,000 people (organisers estimated up to 50,000) participated. The majority of protesters were young people in their 20s and, for the most of them, this was their first experience of demonstrating. They gathered and marched through various places in Kuala Lumpur to demand fair and clean elections, as well democratic rights. These very determined and brave crowds defied various threats for the last three weeks from the ruling government. Meanwhile, the counter-protest planned by UMNO (United Malay National Organizations) youths only managed to attract around 500 people, mainly the ruling parties’ members. On the same day, small gatherings and demonstrations of Malaysians abroad were also held in more than 20 cities across the world including Singapore, Bangkok, London and Melbourne to support BERSIH.