Sunday, January 13, 2013


Yes, I went to lend a hand at this mammoth rally. I help to organise a medical team to help. We thought that when a million people walk on the streets, there will be some medical issues. So, together with the St John's Ambulance and the PAS doctors, we formed a medical corp. There were 7 medical team stations at the various rallying points determined by the organising committee. The person-in-charge of this medical corp was Dr Azrin of PAS group. Mr Genta was the assistant team leader and I act as the medical advisers. We were able to secure ( borrow ) about 7 AEDs and also about 25 walkie talkie hand sets which were not jammable. During Bersih 3.0, we suffered from inability to communicate as our walkie talkies were jammed, and we could not communicate efficiently. This time around we were able ( thru friends ) to lend some really high tech sets, which were easy to use, and not jammable.
I was assigned to man medic station 6 at Jln Sultan.

I reach my station at about 10.30am. the crowd was still thin. Mr Kwong, the tailor there at 51 Jln Sultan was very kind to allow us to use a small space and lend us a table to put our medic first aid kits, AED set and also the medical vests and other items. The police were already there and ready. This time we took courage to chat with them and offered them some mineral water. Slowly, the medical students assigned to us arrived, followed by the doctors, one by one. We had a total of seven doctors to help, and about 5 medical students.

                                          The crowd at Jln Sultan at about 1.30pm

By about 1.30pm the crowd had swollen till as far as the eyes could see. I really cannot count how many. Jln sultan at the Hang Jebat end was the confluence and many have to pass by us to climb the hill to Merdeka Stadium. The other way was thru Jln Maharajarela, and Jln Hang Tuah. So the crowd here was really hugh. At about 1.30pm there was a light gentle rain. One young man, who was caught the large sea of people felt suffocated and dizzy, so I went to reassure him, pull him to the side to rest and get some fresh air. Also gave him some water. He was OK. Minor issue.
The main crowd passed us from about 1.30pm till 2.30pm.
At about 2.30, the crowd had thinned down to about a few hundreds and the base commander requested that we vacate the Jln Sultan station and move up the hill to join the crowd at the stadium.

                                           The crowd at the Merdeka Stadium at about 3pm.
We climb the hill, and could only get to Jln Stadium. We could not get into the stadium because of the crowd. I decided to set up a station somewhere mid way between the stadium main entrance and VI school. When it got hotter, I moved the station till the VI end ( up the stadium road ), as there were some trees to give us shade. We stood there till the end of the Rally. we could hear the speeches and evry now and then tood a walk up and down Jln Stadium to see if our help was needed. This time was quite boring. No one needed any help here.
At about 5pm, after the reading of the pledges, and the prayer led by Tok Guru, Nik aziz, the rally ended peacefully, without any untowards incidence.
We were then asked by base commander to report to the main medical station at the entrance to Stadium Merdeka. there we met as a group for awhile to thank each other for a job well done. As I said there, not that we did much. We were just there, and were not much used. That was good.

                        Outside the Merdeka Stadium, with the Police, while waiting for debriefing.
While waiting for the crowd to disperse, and for the team to meet, I went to take a photo with the friendly policemen, police women. I think they were equally bored. They were friendly and happy.
The day was over. No one got hurt. I was tired, but glad. took some of my team members for a drink, and then left for home.

I saw when I came home that some sources were arguing about the numbers and comparing with Bersih 3.0. I must say ( from what I saw ), that we certainly did not achieve the target of 1 million people. Mat Sabu, had over estimated, when he planned. It was certainly more then the 40,000 that the Police seem to indicate. I believe that the numbers attending is probably about 250,000 to 300,000. Be that as it may, any reasonable government should take note, when the streets are full of people carrying banners, calling for change, in one form or the other. When you see your historic stadium filled to the brim ( and we were worried of stampede ( thank God non ), and stadium structures collapsing, as it is an old stadium not meant to have people sitting on railings and beams ( thank God non collapse ). They also commented that there were children and that was against the law. Yes, I am sure, in the PAA somewhere there must be a clause about children above or below 15. I believe that is besides the point. The letter of the law, correct, the organisers may have breech the law. But the spirit of the law, is there is many issues that the people are not happy about and they should be heard. The government should take note. But I think it is too late. we must change the government, and give BN / UMNO a break, to rethink and re-invent themselves so that they may be fit to rule in the 21st century. They have lost touch with the people.
I must also thank the police and the government for keeping to their word of allowing a peaceful assembly. there were no provocateurs ( or monkeys as I use to call them ). Everyone was well behaved, the rally attendees, and also the police.
I must also make one observation, I see alot of Malays and Chinese, but a significant ( in my opinion ), of Indians ( so sorry, I do not mean to be racist. Just my observation ).

A long and tiring day. Thank God that it was boring with no incidences. Malaysians have matured. They can rally and protest peacefully.
God save Malaysia.

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