Bersih 5 will be held on November 19 and it will not be the same as it was last year.
The public, so critics say are more motivated and at the same time angered since the last Bersih rally held.
An overall more dynamic picture is expected out of the rally this time around.
While it seems as though the Bersih 2.0 committee is more geared up having announced that the rally would be preceded by a nationwide convoy set to kick-off on October 1, the committee may still have a few things to worry about.
Although a year has passed since the last rally took off, the Bersih 2.0 committee may still be “haunted” by the lack of Malay presence which ended up as the highlight of the rally.
The lack of support from Malaysia’s largest population in some ways brought doubt to whether the rally only spoke on behalf a single race.
An easy way out was to blame the Islamist Party, PAS, as they had set a precedence of being able to round up Malays in the previous Bersih rallies.
As much as Bersih 5 should steer clear from getting tangled in the race and religion card, it is unavoidable.
Will the rally see a return of Malay protestors with Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) that has voiced its support for the rally?
Says Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) Strategy Director Dzulkefly Ahmad, as much as the public may expect Amanah and PAS to work together to round rally Malay protestors, this may not be necessary.
“We are not going to wait for PAS. In fact, we don’t want to know what they are doing or planning to do.
“They need to do what they say, and not talk but do otherwise. If they have voiced their stand against Umno-Barisan Nasional, then they should prove it.
“We are not going persuade or try to convince PAS to join us in rallying Malay supporters. The ball is in their court, let them do what they wish,” he says.
Dzulkefly adds that this will be the first time Amanah is present at a big scale rally as a full fledge party and is confident that it will be able to bring a reasonable number of supporters to ground.
“If we can get all our members to join the rally, there is already 40,000 of us. We believe that we will be able to get more including our supporters.
“It will not be a problem for us to get at least 50,000 to rally with us,” says Dzulkefly.Apart from demanding for institutional reforms, Bersih 5 will be demanding for reforms to become a national agenda, for the parliamentary democracy system to be strengthened, and for the prime minister to step down.
Meanwhile, protestors who are against the Bersih rally says, they would rather lend their support to the Red Shirt rally as the Bersih 2.0 committee has lost its course and has become an Opposition “puppet”.
Rahman Razak, a keen protestor says that people are unhappy at how the Bersih 2.0 committee looks as though it has no stand of its own and seems to be following the Opposition parties’ agendas instead.
“We are not supporters of the Prime Minister, but neither do we like being the Opposition’s tool.
“They seem to be more interested in politicking and has force Malays who never used to take sides to choose a side that can stand up for our race.
“Bersih does not seem to be speaking on its own, but speaking on behalf of the Opposition and when anything goes wrong, like the last rally the Malays were blamed to have been unsupportive of reform agendas.
“It is testing our (Malays) patience. Some have threatened that there may be a bloodbath, and I’m not surprised it really happens,” says Rahman.
As for Bersih supporters, Tan Li Kian, a newly registered voter says that she is looking forward to Bersih 5.
“I missed all of the Bersih rallies as I was out of Malaysia or was engaged with prior appointments. I won’t miss it this time.
“We need to tell the government how unhappy and frustrated we are, and a rally like this is what we need right now,” says Tan.
Prior to the rally, a convoy will take place in six regions which include Northern Peninsular (Kangar Perlis), Southern Peninsular (Johor Bahru, Johor), East Coast (Kota Bharu, Kelantan), West Coast (Lumut, Perak), Sabah (Sandakan) and Sarawak (Miri).
For now, one will only know on November 19 if Bersih 5 will be the mother of all Bersih gatherings.
Soo Wern Jun