KUALA LUMPUR, June 22: The attendance of the #Blackout505 peaceful assembly here at Padang Merbok is still considered a success despite only being able to gather around 50,000 participants compared to the previous series of rallies.
According to the Coordinator of Youth Solidarity Malaysia (SAMM), Badrul Hisham Shaharin, the presence of 50,000 participants is enough to convey the message to the public about the cheating done by the Election Commission (EC).
“First we have to understand, large organisations such as the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) have cancelled their events and various facts, including news about the haze and so on (affected the attendance). But what is more important is that the attendance today is enough.
“Based on various facts, we feel that the presence today is enough.
Badrul told TVSelangor after the assembly that the important thing to note is that the people are expressing their rejection towards the election results.
According to Badrul Hisham, the organisers had to decide whether to continue the assembly in the hazy weather conditions or not due to the constraints and difficulties in conveying information to the public.
“When we have promoted that we need to hold it today, we have no other choice but to proceed with it.
“Additionally, we received advice on the actual readings of the air quality (and) it is still at a level that allows for the rally to be held.
“But perhaps due to fear of the progress (of haze) in several other places around the country, some choose other means of carrying out their protest,” Badrul Hisham added.
Among the other means, according to Badrul, includes the 86,000 internet surfers who followed the live broadcast via the website during the #Blackout505 countdown event held at the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall.
Earlier, PKR De Facto Leader, Anwar Ibrahim when delivering his speech said that while gathering at the Brickfield checkpoint, the Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament, Nurul Izzah Anwar urged for parents who brought along young children to cancel their desires to participate in the assembly due to the hazy weather conditions.
Meanwhile, some of the participants who were met said that the ‘threat’ from the authorities of taking action against participants of the assembly was another contributing factor to the total attendance of the rally participants today.