Weeks after the Malaysian government cracked down on pro-reform protesters gathered under the banner of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, or Bersih, uncertainty is still thick in Kuala Lumpur.
Bersih, which literally means "clean" in Malay, estimates that 50,000 people showed up at the July 9 rally to protest in favor of electoral reforms, clean politics and anti-corruption measures as stated in an 8-point manifesto. The police, who fired tear gas and water cannons at the demonstrators, claim that only a few thousand were present. In the end, some 1,700 people were arrested, while several were injured, and one died.
The rally was the second organized by Bersih. The first, held in November 2007, was also met with a heavy-handed response, although to a lesser degree. Bersih has now demanded that Malaysia's election commission complies with its demands or face a new rally.