Poor public response to Yellow Shirt convoy

Oct 9, 2016
Bersih convoy in Bukit Mertajam, Penang received lukewarm public response on Sunday.
Political group Bersih is currently holding a nationwide Yellow Shirt road show to woo public support for Bersih 5.0 rally on Nov 19.

Even the presence of political movement Bersih leader Maria Chin Abdullah and local state representatives could not woo demonstrators to join the Yellow Shirt convoy in Bukit Mertajam, Penang on Sunday.

The turnout was visibly low with some 50 individuals spotted in their yellow T-shirts joining the convoy, which is part of the Yellow Shirt road show to drum up public support ahead of its Bersih 5.0 rally scheduled on Nov 19.

The Yellow Shirt convoy started at Tesco Alma Bukit Mertajam at 7.30am and moved to several public areas including Taman Selamat and Machang Bubuk wet markets.

However the Yellow Shirts failed to attract the people’s attention in the areas.

Bukit Mertajam parliamentary and its three state seats – Padang Lalang, Berapit and Machang Bubok, were all won by the DAP-PKR axis in the past two general elections.

Later Maria Chin tried to play down the low turnout by claiming that the Yellow Shirts did not expect many people to join the convoy, adding that the political group anticipated only 30 to 40 people.

When asked on the corruption charge against Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, she said the graft case would not have an impact on the Bersih convoy and its 5.0 rally.

“We are a NGO who fights for clean elections and governance and as for Guan Eng’s case, I will leave it to the court to decide. From my point of view, he is innocent until proven guilty by the court,” she was reported by Bernama as saying.

However, some people met during the Bersih convoy in Bukit Mertajam showed their disapproval over the presence of political parties in the rally.

Some could not support Bersih, feeling embarrassed that the Yellow Shirts were linked to a party, whose secretary-general had been tainted with graft in court.

One, Terrance Lee, 35, when met said that he supported Bersih before and now he felt that the movement had deviated from its original goals.

“During the first three rallies, I was one of their supporters. But now, while they are campaigning for their demands, I can see political parties taking part in the convoy with their flags and songs.

“It makes me wonder on what is the course of Bersih now. Is it still an NGO or has it now teamed up with political parties?” he asked.