Despite the presence of Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah and local assemblymen, the turnout during the Bersih convoy here in Bukit Mertajam is very low.

With only less than 50 in the official Bersih T-Shirt, the convoy had started at Tesco Alma Bukit Mertajam at 7.30am and had moved to several public areas including Taman Selamat market and Machang Bubuk morning market.

Not only that, the movement however had failed to attract the attention of the people in the areas despite the state and parliamentary seats was won by DAP and PKR which supports Bersih.

Maria said that the non-government organisation (NGO) did not expect many people to attend the convoy.

"We anticipated some 30 to 40 people only to join the convoy as we want to talk to people on what is the demand of Bersih," she said when contacted.

The five demands of Bersih 5 were clean elections, clean governance, strengthen parliamentary democracy right to dissent and empowering Sabah and Sarawak.

Maria when asked if the corruption charge against Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng will have an impact on the Bersih rally, she believed that it would not affect the convoy and the rally on Nov 19.

“We are an NGO who fights for clean elections and governance and as for Guan Eng’s case, I will leave it to the court to decide. From my point of view, he is innocent until proven guilty by the court,” she said.

Some of the people met during the Bersih convoy in Bukit Mertajam showed their disapproval over the presence of political parties in the rally while some could not support Bersih because it was linked to a party whose secretary-general was facing corruption charges in court.

Terrance Lee, 35, when met said that he supported Bersih before and now he felt that the course of the movement had deviated from its origins.

“During the first three rallies, I was one of their supporters. But now, while they are campaigning for their demands, I can see political parties taking part in the convoy with their flags and songs, it makes me wonder, what is the course of Bersih now. Is it still an NGO or has it now teamed up with political parties,” he said.

According to Penang Bersih coordinator, Francis Low from NGO Aliran, the Bersih convoy will be in Penang until Oct 15 and will move out to Parit Buntar on Tuesday. -- BERNAMA