The fearless and the chicken-hearted

Auntie Wong, 65, lives in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

Wearing yellow, she took a bus to the city early in the morning last Saturday.

Her bus was blocked in the vicinity of KL Hospital.

All she could do was alight from the bus and walk, although it was still some 10km from her destination.

She inched on slowly, planning her route as she walked. She should have taken the shady Jalan Pahang to the Kampung Baru Malay enclave before turning into the rowdy Chow Kit.

After that she came to the bustling Jalan Sultan Ismail, and then took the small lane to Little India.

After walking along several major thoroughfares and passing a few overheads, she came to Masjid Jamek and was making her way towards the National Mosque.

Not far from Dayabumi, she was stopped by some policemen.

When asked why she was wearing yellow, she queried, "Why can't I wear yellow?"

She plodded on and finally met the rally crowd just past noon.

Auntie Wong was no seasoned street fighter. She lacked experience and was hardly prepared for what lay ahead.

She carried with her an overly simple waist pouch. No towels, no water bottles, no salt nor a protective goggle.

She was apparently drained of energy, her movements slowed and almost incapacitated.

When the water pillar descended upon her, she was completely drenched, and when the tear gas engulfed her, she was suffocated, and her breathing choked.

However, she continued to hold firmly to the flower bouquet someone had given her.

After the rally, she dragged her soaked and exhausted body along for a few more miles before she could catch her bus home.

And she had the slightest idea that the picture of her standing in front of the anti-riot squad was circulated around the globe the following day.

x x x x

Ibrahim Ali said he would confront Bersih with his blood and defend... something that even he himself was not too sure of.

He said he would gather 15,000 Perkasa fighters to take to the street on July 9.

He wanted to lock down the Penang Bridge, and warned the Chinese: Stay away from the street and stock some food at home.

He said his tolerance had been stretched to a limit. Sounds familiar?

The tension surrounding the Bersih rally was to a very large extent attributed to this one man. Many were apparently appalled by him.

On the eve of the big day, he said Perkasa would not take to the street as it could not get a permit.

He then told the world he was barred by his wife from going out on Saturday.

He nevertheless urged his Perkasa sympathisers to 'take a stroll' at Taman Titiwangsa in a show of force.

When finally contacted by the media, he said he was not feeling well!

???