Location: Melbourne, Australia
Time: 28/4/2012 at 2.00 p.m. +10UTC
Number of Participants: 1250+
Bersih Melbourne was a huge success, drawing crowds of more than 1,250 to gather peacefully at Federation Square. The atmosphere of the event was festive and fun and there was a wide range of Malaysians who attended this rally, from students to young people working in Melbourne and Malaysian families. There were also a significant amount of Australians in the crowd, most of who were unaware of the situation in Malaysia before the event. There was a range of speakers who spoke at the event, which included a couple of Members of Parliament who spoke in support and in solidarity with the cause. Speeches ranged from the current situation of electoral reform in Malaysia, the current voting rights of overseas Malaysians, the current dubious numbers in the electoral roll and the situation in East Malaysia.
Aside from the speeches, there was a significant amount of music during the event, which helped with creating an easy and festive mood. One song was even written by one of the participants for Bersih. There was also a reading of a poem written by A. Samad Said, the co-chairperson of Bersih in Kuala Lumpur. Towards the end of the event, we announced all of the 84 cities participating in Bersih 3.0 around the world. This was followed by a moment of reflection for Bersih 2.0 and for the safety of all Malaysians participating in the rally at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur. We then asked parts of the crowd who were standing to sit down for “Duduk Bantah” and a photograph was taken of everyone seated.
Bersih Melbourne had an amazing media team, which was in charge of photographing and video graphing the event. The media team also sent around interview teams to ask the crowd about their views on electoral reform in Malaysia and to also record some Bersih stories from the people. There was also a team who were updating the events of Bersih Melbourne on social networking sites. The crowd in Melbourne were also told the rough numbers of people gathered at Dataran Merdeka.
The mood of the event was extremely festive and fun. The underlying idea of Bersih Melbourne was empowering the youth and providing them with the necessary information to understand their rights. Most speakers ended their speech with a chant for the people of Malaysia with the intention of uplifting and inspiring the crowd. The people were made aware that the freedoms that are so evident in Australia are non-existent in Malaysia and therefore we must use our freedoms overseas to spark a change for the better in Malaysia.
28 April 2012 – Massive turnout of more than 1200 people at Federation Square. – Photo by Le Bin
“Elections – Why U No Bersih?” Photo by Le Bin
Senator Colleen Hartland from The Greens speaking in solidarity with Malaysians for Clean Elections. Photo by Ian Tay
The Hon Hong Lim, MP (right) spoke passionately about how Malaysians deserve democracy. Photo by Ian Tay
Malaysians of all ages gathered to support Bersih 3.0 in Melbourne. Photo by Le Bin
The participants cheering ‘Bersih’ at the final group photo session. Photo by Ian Tay
Loud and clear: ‘Election Commission must Resign!’ – Photo by Ian Tay