Saturday 12 January 2013 is positioned by the Opposition together with various NGOs as a historic moment in the history of Malaysia. KL112, short for KL January 12, appears to be building up steam amongst Malaysians who want to be a part of a first multi-party politically led very large scale rally. This is to be bigger than Umno, PAS and other Pakatan Rakyat’s rally. It is supposed to make Perkasa’s rally very pale in comparison. This is beyond members specific. It is a people theme rally, for Malaysia – so says the Opposition.
Strangely but pleasantly surprising, the Police and the Merdeka Stadium caretaker have both consented to the use of the premise and the Police has had discussions with the organizers to ensure public safety and adherence to conditions to prevent undesirable incidents like those during Bersih 3.0 or 418. This is a first and historic arrangement for a rally of this scale (being a desired scale at the moment). Perhaps the public interests by international observers and other countries have driven the BN Government to step very gingerly this time round to ensure no bad press arises from poor treatment of Opposition-led rallies. Lesson learnt from Bersih 3.0. Very good!
Because it is organized by anti-establishment organizations and political parties, road blocks are expected to slow down and intimidate interested parties going into KL. We shall know the real news tomorrow how this will affect the turnout. So far, people who are hell-bent on attending have found ways of getting there. Lesson not learnt from the past Bersih rallies. Not good!
Bersih 2.0 has not lent their organization leadership nor endorsed this rally because it is seen to be politically motivated and Bersih is not a political inclined movement. They have categorically stated so but do not stop anyone from going as themselves, a citizen of Malaysia. Best to separate Bersih from being blamed and smeared as a political tool. Very good!
Judging from the rumblings around the country, it appears to be a big turnout tomorrow. Although not as big as Bersih 3.0 rally, it will nevertheless be a massive showdown to hear NGOs and Opposition speakers at the Merdeka Stadium. There will be 7 gathering points around KL to being a march towards the stadium. This is also a first with the consent of the Police. Very good!
What is left to be seen is whether there will still be elements of disruption of peace sown within the massive crowd like what happened in Bersih 3.0 to break the momentum of the Opposition and smear the rally as questionable.
If the rally is to be historic, the people must show up.
If a large enough number of people shows up, BN will have to re-strategize and execute their damage control quickly.
It is the last massive rally that the Opposition has planned before the General Election. Will this spoil Najib’s “angpow” effects of the BR1M? Time will tell. The Opposition hopes to bring a massive groundswell momentum as they prepare for the last 100 days of the present government and enter into their strongest position in the history of Malaysia’s General Election. This is the first time that the Opposition can actually smell a chance of victory and also the first time that BN is facing the reality of a possible defeat.
For now, we can follow the rally closely by tracking the tags #KL112 and #HKR112 on Twitter.
History will follow.