Heavy rain fails to dampen spirits of Bersih rally participants in KL

Malaysian protesters gather in the rain during a Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 30, 2015.
Malaysian protesters gather in the rain during a Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 30, 2015. PHOTO: EPA

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Bersih 4 rally continued in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday despite a heavy downpour in the afternoon.

While, a number of participants appeared unfazed by the rain, many others had come prepared with yellow umbrellas and ponchos.

Most people though took cover under the LRT line, near the Masjid Jamek station.

In Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, people took shelter in the shade of buildings while in the Central Market area, some 2km away from the centre of the rally, protesters were seen seeking refuge in the restaurants nearby.

The crowd of rally participants had been building up again on day two of the rally, with protesters seen entering the city from early Sunday morning.

"It's building up! I can see more people coming in," said rally goer Lawrence Jeyaraj.

Student Leong Yung Hong, 21, who slept outside Dataran Merdeka on Saturday night said he was not going to let a little sweat and lack of sleep deter him from seeing the rally through to midnight.

"I don't feel tired. I feel great and being with the crowd gives me energy.

"Yesterday night was very peaceful, it was quite cool. I am impressed with so many new faces this time," he said.

Ms Anis Sofea, who attended the rally on Saturday, said she had gone home for a shower and rest but was back in Kuala Lumpur at 9am.

"I believe in what Bersih wants and I want to give them my support. And it's a public holiday tomorrow so I am okay to be here," said the 18-year-old.

On the ground, multiple groups of people were seen marching around the city chanting "Bersih" and "Hidup Rakyat", with impromptu speeches breaking out around Dataran Merdeka, Jalan Tun Perak and in front of Menara Maybank.

Protesters were also seen taking a breather by roadsides, enjoying breakfast in restaurants and snapping pictures with friends.

Organisers said Sunday's rally would be marked by more speeches by leaders from non-governmental organisations and politicians as well as performances by artists.

The day is scheduled to end with speeches entitled "What next?" by Bersih leaders at 9pm followed by the closing by chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah and the singing of the national anthem.

However, a National Day concert scheduled for Dataran Merdeka on Sunday night, was shifted to the Bukit Jalil Stadium.

Bersih 4 protesters are welcome to join the National Day concert at the Bukit Jalil Stadium, said Kuala Lumpur police chief Comm Datuk Tajuddin Md Isa.

"The countdown will also be done there," he said, speaking of the Sehati Sejiwa concert set for Sunday.

Mr Tajuddin reminded Bersih 4.0 protesters to stand by their promise to remain peaceful during the rally.

"The organisers were represented by Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah and Suhakam officials. We hope supporters will remain calm throughout the event and disperse peacefully when the clock strikes 12am.

"Failing to do so, we will have no choice but to commence action in accordance with the law," he said.