Location: Wellington Cenotaph, Wellington, New Zealand
Time: 28 Apr, 1pm +12UTC
Number of participants: 60
A mixed demographic of Chinese, Malay and Indian Malaysians arrived at the rally, some arriving from as far as Palmerson North, either wearing or carrying yellow items: shirts, scarfs, raincoats, umbrellas, yellow signs with Bersih slogans, even a Pikachu doll. Some girls in Tudungs – students under JPA scholarships, came with their faces covered, for fear of having their scholarships revoked if spotted by people from the consulate – prior to the event, they had been getting emails from the High Commissioner of Malaysia, forbidding them from participating in the rally as it would tarnish the good name of the country. After distributing badges to the participants, Henry Yap thanked the participants for coming and noted the importance of supporting each other in the rally. Ray Tat gave an impromptu speech stating Bersih’s 3 demands and encouraging everyone present to have an open discussion about the changes they were anticipating. Jan Logie, an MP from the Green Party also came to show her support and gave a speech – she said that movements like Bersih was the heart of what makes any country work, and that she felt certain that change was coming, given the size of the protests in Malaysia. She assured us that the Green Party would do whatever it could to support the change and represent our voices in Wellington. After her speech, everyone sang the national anthem together.
A participant alerted us to the fact that two Malay men in hoodies had been observing us from a distance throughout the sit-in, taking photos. When confronted, they responded elusively, and covered their faces when participants of the sit-in pointed their cameras towards them.