The two days notice to assemble was rather short. It was a Wednesday night and the next day, many of us have to work while our children have to go to school. Kelana Jaya was quite far from Kuala Lumpur and we have no idea where the stadium was. Marcus have to meet a client that night to close a deal and Alexandra will not be home until 7:30 pm. The late evening sky was completely covered by dark clouds signalling a thunderstorm is on the way. The raining season is here again. Highways will be flooded with water and jammed with vehicles after each downpour. With so many odds stacked against us, it is very tempting to throw in the towel and say, “Oh, don’t bother. There will be others who will be going!”
But not going is not an option anymore. We have to find our way there, by hook or by crook. We have to stand in solidarity with the rest of the Anak-Anak Bangsa Malaysia who love and cherish truth and justice. We have to do it for our beloved country and our children’s future. We had enough.
I read in Facebook that many had started to gather in the stadium hours before the rally kick off. I cooked dinner earlier than usual and then ran to fetch Alexandra home without a minute to waste. We had dinner in the quickest time and after donning our black T-shirts and raincoats, we walked briskly to the Hang Tuah LRT station near our house. It was already 8:30 pm and it was raining. The train stopped and we got in. What greeted us was a train full of Malaysians donned in black and they too were going to the same destination and for the same cause. We were strangers bound by a common interest – a deep love for our country. We smiled and nodded to one another, amused and yet proud to be in the same flock.
At Masjid Jamek station, the train stopped for more black-dressed Malaysians to get in. Along the way at each stop, more and more rally goers squeezed in. The train was filled to the brim by the time we reached KL Sentral and those standing outside have to wait for another train. After twelve stops, we finally reached Kelana Jaya. All of us got down and walked enthusiastically towards the stadium which was quite far away from Kelana Jaya LRT station. The rain had turned into a drizzle now.
“Excuse me, do you know how to get to Kelana Jaya Stadium?” Marcus asked a young chap in black T-shirt holding a PAS flag and walking together with his friends, all donned in black of course.
“I don’t know as I’m from Cheras. I’m just following those walking in front. Why don’t you just follow us and we walk together?” he replied earnestly.
So we joined him and his gang.
As we were walking along the pavement of the highway that leads to the stadium, vehicles passing by were busy honking at us. There were easily thousands of people walking towards the stadium and the flow was non-stop. Along the way, some shouted out “Ubah” and “Ini kali lah” to the blowing of small plastic trumpets called vuvuzelas and waving of party flags. It was like we were going to a carnival.
Ten minutes into walking, I accidentally missed a step near a pavement and fell down on both my knees. Immediately I could feel the excruciating pain and to my horror, blood began to ooze from my left knee. I almost burst out in tears. For about five minutes I could not straighten my left leg and all I could do was to sit on the grass near the spot where I fell. Marcus quickly ran to the nearest 7 Eleven store to get me some tissues and plaster. A few guys who walked past offered to help but I told them I will be okay and asked them to continue walking.
After a brief rest and with two pieces of plaster over my injured left knee, my husband help me up and we were on our way again, catching up with the rest. You can say I limped the rest of the way there. I even saw an elderly Chinese gentleman sitting in a wheelchair and he was pushed by a younger man who I presumed to be his son. The old man had a PAS flag in his hand and he was waving it happily. Along the way too, many youngsters were posing in groups for photos and what caught my eyes was that they were not from any particular race. Malay posed with Chinese and Indians posed with some that resembled East Malaysians and the sight simply made us smiled. What was even more amazing was to see Malays holding flags with the picture of a rocket and the Chinese holding flags with a moon in the middle.
The group in front of us took a short cut through a park that was totally shrouded in darkness. Luckily some brought torchlight and others used their mobile phones to throw some light to the area. The path was full of slippery mud and wet grasses. The walk towards the stadium was getting more difficult when we approached a steep slope. There were some guys standing near the slope to extend a helping hand to those who wished to climb up this slope. One by one we made our way up gingerly.
Once up the slope, to our dismay, there was another slope and this one was a descending one that leads to the stadium. We have no choice but to tackle this one too as we were eager to get to the stadium. From where we stood, we could see it was brightly lit up and the noise that came from the crowd already inside was deafening. One by one we slide down and eventually we got to the side of the stadium. Stalls selling black T-shirts, flags, food and drinks lined the entrance to the stadium. There were so many people standing outside because they could not get in as the stadium was packed without an inch to spare.
I did not get inside due to my injured knee. I sat on the steps while Marcus climbed on whatever space still available for him to capture some photos. At one point, from where I sat, I saw him hanging from a railing near the entrance just like a monkey hanging from a tree. For those of us who could not get inside, we could not get to hear the speeches delivered by the Pakatan Rakyat politicians; all we could hear was the thunderous roars of “Ubah” and “Ini kali lah!”reverberating across the stadium and it was electrifying. We just cheered and clapped in unison. Malay, Chinese, Indian, Sikh, Iban, Dayak, Kadazan, Murut, Orang Asli – we were all there and we were truly One Malaysia that night.
Marcus and I left earlier due to my condition. With so many people leaving at the same time, it will be difficult to do so later. And we have a long walk back to the LRT station. Luckily we managed to get into the last train at 11:30 pm. The Kelana Jaya LRT station was once again filled to the brim with people making their way home. I guess many got stuck in the highway as it was in a bumper to bumper mode.
When we got home around 12:15 am, we found both Nicholas and Alexandra fast asleep. They were very independent teenagers and they knew their parents were out there fighting for a better future for them. The fight ahead is a tough and long one but we are not afraid because we have millions and millions of fellow Malaysians fighting along with us. We are all in this together and it is very assuring.