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Brave cyclist finally reach Parliament after weeks of harrasment - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

Police have allowed 30 cyclists in Jerit's 'Ride for Change' campaign to ride up to Parliament House - the first three arrived at the entrance of the building about 11.45am.


jerit parliament ride for change final leg 181208 01Supporters gathered on the roadside are singing, cheering and clapping, with the noise level rising by the minute.

Escorting the riders on foot are opposition MPs Lim Kit Siang (Ipoh Timor), Gobind Singh Deo (Puchong), Charles Santiago (Klang), Mahfuz Omar (Pokok Sena) and Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang), among others.

Police had escorted the lorry transporting the bicycles from the Lake Gardens to the junction of the road leading to Parliament.

There, they allowed the cyclists to ride up one by one to the building, after initially prohibiting the use of the bicycles.

jerit parliament ride for change final leg 181208 05By 12.20pm, a total of 120 cyclists and others had been allowed into Parliament House.

After submitting their memorandum, they will have their lunch in Parliament before departing.

Some 200 others, including cyclists, were taken in a bus at about 12.25pm to the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall for lunch and to wait for the return of the team from Parliament.

There will be a certificate-giving ceremony for the cyclists at the venue later this afternoon.

Assembly point

Earlier, campaigners had begun walking in small groups from the Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur, where they had been waiting since 10am.

They had an appointment to meet Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, to hand over a memorandum of concerns ranging from food shortages to the impending economic slowdown.

jerit parliament ride for change final leg 181208 k simon and gobindLeaving the Lake Gardens in batches of five, the teenagers among the campaigners were instructed to walk.

At the entrance to the Parliament building, the group - led by Jerit coordinator and PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan - lined up, waiting for the rest to arrive.

On hand to lend support were Pakatan Rakyat MPs including Tian Chua (Batu), R Sivarasa (Subang), S Manikavasagam (Kapar), M Manogaran (Teluk Intan), Abdullah Sani (Kuala Langat) and Dr D Jeyakumar (Sungai Siput).

Clapping as the group arrived, the MPs went around shaking hands, to cheers from the group.

Three busloads of cyclists and supporters had first gathered about 9.30am at the National Museum, before circling the area, apparently looking for a place to disembark.

jerit parliament ride for change final leg 181208 10Deterred by the presence of some 20 police personnel at Jalan Travers, however, they moved to the Lake Gardens, just across the road from Parliament House.

They arrived at 10am but sat around while the organisers held discussions. Their bicycles were on board an accompanying lorry.

About 10.30am, two more buses arrived with more cyclists and supporters on board.

Among them are senior citizens and children below the age of 12. Many are wearing the trademark red campaign t-shirts.

Monitored by police

The multi-racial group, numbering about 250, was monitored by about 100 plainclothes and uniformed police personnel, including those from the traffic unit.

jerit ride for change parliament police blockade 181208 01At Parliament House, two Light Strike Force trucks were on standby, with about 50 plainclothes and uniformed personnel. A mobile unit was also stationed there, while a police helicopter hovered over the vicinity.

The cyclists had begun their 16-day journey simultaneously from Alor Setar in the north and Johor in the south.

They endured much harassment over the journey, having been stopped at nine locations and seeing some in the group being detained by police.

In Seberang Perai, some bicycles were set alight by suspected arsonists.

Yesterday, however, was free of incident, as they rode to Shah Alam to deliver their memorandum to Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim -