10 November 2007
For the past many Saturdays, my dear friend, WS, has been a one-man-show standing in front of Malaysia Hall/MSD building in Bayswater. Recently, he went back home (he has been living here for the past 30 years) to celebrate our 50th Merdeka and was really dismayed by the current situation there.
“What happened eh?”, he asked me one day. “… I saw different races eating at different tables… that didn’t happen before!”. “… and all these corruptions. We’re a rich nation yet one little dot in the south is far better economically. This is wrong!”.
So, when he was there he bought about 100 Malaysia-Today car stickers and started to ‘give out’ (albeit small monetary contribution) to fellow Malaysians from the pavement of Queensborough Terrace . Once he was told off by one officer for putting his little poster of ‘Get your M-Today sticker here’ on the railing; “This is Malaysian government’s property, you can’t put it here!” warned the officer. WS smilingly relocated his little poster to the lamp post.
Yesterday, his order of the now famous Bersih yellow t-shirts arrived from KL… and earlier today, together with 20+ concerned Malaysians they gathered in front of our very London establishment.
It’s a very tiny group to compare with 40,000 who battled the rain, water canon, tear gas and truncheons back home, and in addition they were not handing any memorandum to anybody. Some even said, “What’s the point… and what Msia Hall/MSD has gotta do with all his!??”. But, where else could they go to voice out their concerns and more importantly to meet and make fellow Malaysians aware of those issues? In addition, it was a small gesture in showing support and solidarity to our beloved brothers and sisters back home on this historic day.
Unlike our Royal Police Force, London Metropolitan Police via their Notting Hill Police Station easily issued a gathering permit from 2 – 4pm.
However, at about 3pm two friendly bobbies from the Diplomatic Protection Group (SO16) turned up in their distinctive red car due to a call made by MSD (I assumed they didn’t know about the gathering).
They were not from Notting Hill Station and were not inform of this mini ‘demo’. After taking the permit reference number from the organiser they went into MSD office and speedily left about 10 minutes later.
“What do we want!?”
echoed along Queensborough Terrace on this bright autumn day before WS shouted “Daulat Tuanku!”
At about quarter to 4, the bobbies came around again, making sure the tiny crowd keeping to their given time.
…. a small beginning for a bigger change, insyaAllah.
Account of BERSIH protest at Malaysia Hall, London
10 November 2007