It is now Day 13 of the joint encampment by two groups - the Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) group of students which is calling for the abolishment of PTPTN and free education for all (#mansuhPTPTN and #pendidikanpercuma) and Occupy Dataran (#occupydataran) which calls for the reclaiming of public spaces.
From the start of our encampment, the authorities, chiefly DBKL, has repeatedly sought to clamp down on us, despite the peaceful nature of our activities.
On 22 April, DBKL confiscated all our tents and some of our supplies. At the same time, 2 occupiers were arrested, and released on police bail on the same day.
On 24 April, DBKL again raided the encampment, taking away the tents and most of our supplies, as well as some of the money donated by the generous public. On the same day, 4 other occupiers were also arrested, and released on police bail later that night.
Nothing they do will stop us
DBKL has clearly stated that it plans to prevent the rakyat from accessing Dataran Merdeka this weekend: “Action has been taken against those kids at Dataran Merdeka... The same action will taken if you (Bersih supporters) do the same,” Kuala Lumpur mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail said.
Currently, DBKL has set up barricades in the area which was used as our camp ground. As of 25 April, we are still here and standing strong.
Regardless of what DBKL or the police will do in the coming days, we are determined to continue with our encampment. We want to uphold Article 10 of our Federal Constitution, the highest law in our country which guarantees Malaysians the right to freedom of speech, assembly and association.
The reason that we are still here today is due to all the unwavering support we have received from the public thus far. Your continuous stream of donations has kept us going, but most of all, it is the presence of those who come down to sit, eat, laugh and share their ideas with us that is truly keeping this cause alive.
Jom camp with us tonite onwards!
Thus, we would like to invite everyone who is able to come down to Dataran Merdeka today and tomorrow to please do so. To any groups which are fighting for any cause for a better Malaysia, do join us to reclaim Dataran Merdeka as a public space to promote your cause.
For those who are already planning to attend the Bersih 3.0 sit-in protest on 28 April at Dataran Merdeka, do consider camping with us in solidarity on Thursday and Friday (26 and 27 April) night. There is strength in numbers, so let us band together and send the message loud and clear that we are coming together to create a better Malaysia for all.
Now is the time to show this country that we love and own public spaces like Dataran Merdeka which belong to the Rakyat and which symbolise our freedom as citizens.
Jointly issued by
Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) and OccupyDataran