Sunday, July 24, 2011

I was there - Sin See Ho

We headed to Petaling Street using the road in front of Stadium Negara. The streets were eerily quiet. Gosh, don't tell me no one is coming. There were four of us, but we walked in pairs.

bersih rally petaling street 090711Were we the only gung-ho ones? Gary and Keng Yew were in front, 50 metres away.

Then they were stopped by officers in jackets. Gosh, they were stopped sooner than expected. Okay, we had to turn back now.

We quickly made a phone call to Gary. Phew, they were only officers from the Bar Council.

We continued walking, and lo and behold, there was a crowd of hundreds of people already gathering at Petaling Street, chanting away.

My spirits were lifted up. There are people! Oh my, where do they come from?

Excerpts from Maybank experience

At the side stairs, we heard, "Oi, Mr Maniam... Bersih... Bersih!" A Chinese gentleman was presumably shouting to his friend who was 20 feet away.

Then all of us joined in the chorus. "Bersih! Bersih! Hidup Bersih! Hidup Rakyat!"

I saw Malays, Indians and Chinese in unison shouting in accord and strangers flashing smiles at one another. This was a priceless moment.

Suddenly, tear gas was released into the air. The moment I dreaded most was happening. We ran to the back of Maybank. People started climbing the steel fence to escape.

Some men were very helpful, lending a hand to the women. My husband said: "Climb now, dear."

I didn't think I could do it as the fence was pretty sharp at the top and my eyes were in pain.

riot police firing tear gas in bersih rally bigWe ran further and found a lower barricade.

Then I saw an elderly Malay couple in their late 60s. Oh my, what are they doing here?

"Makcik, boleh tak?"

Through chaos and inflicted with tear gas, the young ones still had the conscience to do the right thing, which was to help the Pakcik and Makcik cross over first.

The police were behind us and we ran with all our might. We ran into an alley, thinking to stay away from the main road, but it led to a dead end.

About 40 of us were looking at each other and panic was written all over our faces. We had to turn back. My heart dropped. We would be arrested for sure. Was there another option? No. And so we ran, and I prayed. Was I in a Jason Bourne movie?

Excerpts from Tung Shin Hospital experience

Tear gas was released into the compound of Tung Shin Hospital. We fled to the back of the building where we managed to find a door and went inside the hospital. We were trapped as the FRU had cornered us.

While waiting, we chatted with our other compatriots.

"We are really not trained for this!"

"Of course not!"

"Are you in any political party?


"Is running and hiding away your day job?"


It dawned on me then what conviction could do to a person. A greater element was at work here. These were the ones that had not allowed fear to have the final say. With arrest imminent, the test of what we believed in had just begun.

bersih rally 090711 police shooting into tung shin hospitalPolice then came into the compound and made some random arrests. I stood and watched, helpless. I spoke to an elderly Chinese couple.

I asked them, "Uncle, auntie, what are you guys doing here? You really shouldn't be here."

Another guy chipped in, "Yes, I won't allow my parents to be here and I dare not tell them that I'm here too."

The elderly lady said, "We are doing this for our children, since we are old. If we die, die-lah. At least we are doing something for Malaysia."

She later she turned to her husband and added, "Darling, I think this is the best honeymoon we ever had!"

I gave a side-way look to my husband - Sorry, don't expect that from me!

SIN SEE HO owns a recruitment agency and an online job portal. He is not affiliated with any political party and loves Malaysia because it's the only home he knows.

No comments:

Post a Comment