DAY 12 – GOMBAK The heavy downpour early this morning failed to dampen the spirit of the Himpunan Hijau marchers, who resumed their journey from the outskirt of Kuala Lumpur today as their numbers swelled to about 2,000 people.
It rained since 5am at Taman Rimba, Gombak, where the marchers set up camp the previous night. Nevertheless, the participants pressed on, armed with umbrellas, straw hats and rain coats.
The marchers kicked off their journey at 8.30am with about 500 people in tow, and the number soon multiplied with more joining in when the rain stopped three hours later.
According to Himpunan Hijau Facebook page, the marchers formed a 2km-long line as they walked towards the capital city.
Some vehicles which passed the marchers repeatedly blew their horn as a show of support.
The team reached the Karak Highway’s Gombak toll plaza at around 11.30am after walking 10km, where they took a short break, occupying a small lane next to the toll.
They then continued their journey to their next stop – the former PAS headquarters at Taman Melewar, Gombak.
Fifteen kilometres and three and a half hours later, the crowd got there by late afternoon.
They were welcomed with food and drinks prepared by PAS members.
The marchers will stay overnight in the main hall of the building before making their final leg of their long march tomorrow.
Final 300 metres ‘too much’
Speaking to the press at the toll plaza, Himpunan Hijau chairperson Wong Tack said the organisers decided to kick off today’s journey half an hour earlier as the rain would slow down the marchers.
In respond to Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s requirement for Himpunan Hijau to apply for permission to camp at Dataran Merdeka – the final destination – Wong (left) insisted that the marchers have the right to gather there.
“They should allow citizens to express their view. After all, that’s the real meaning of ‘merdeka’,” he said, adding that the people are not afraid of potential harassment from the police when they finally get there.
The marchers are scheduled to arrive at the iconic Dataran at 4pm tomorrow, where they hope to hold a meeting with members of parliament the next day.
Wong has requested the parliamentarians to walk to Dataran from Parliament House to meet the marchers at 9am on Monday.
According to him, the final 300 metres would be “too much” for those who have already walked 300km over the past two weeks to get to Kuala Lumpur.
“In fact, 9am is considered late… they can see us at 9pm in the evening (on Sunday). That’s a better time as the people can then rest and have a nice evening,” he said.