Home Coalitions Clean and Fair Elections Launch of Bersih 2.0 gathering

Launch of Bersih 2.0 gathering

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Bersih 2.0 was launched on 19 June 2011 with a list of eight demands calling for far-reaching electoral reforms. The coalition will also be spearheading a ‘Walk for Democracy’ on 9 July.

Malaysians packed the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall for the launch of Bersih 2.0 - Photograph: Gan Pei Nei

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) believes that a working democracy is built upon the foundation of clean, free and fair elections. Therefore, the role of the Election Commission (EC) in conducting elections with integrity and impartiality is crucial in the democratisation of the nation.

The electoral system of this country is marred with irregularities, electoral offences and rampant abuse of powers. As the EC has not made any marked efforts in initiating changes towards a clean and fair electoral system, BERSIH 2.0 has decided to organise a rally to intensify pressure in light of the upcoming 13th General Elections.

Today marks less than three weeks before Perhimpunan BERSIH 2.0 takes place on 9 July 2011. Perhimpunan BERSIH 2.0 is intended to promote democracy and call for much needed electoral reform.

These are the eight immediate demands for Perhimpunan BERSIH 2.0:

1. Clean the electoral roll

The electoral roll is marred with irregularities such as deceased persons and multiple persons registered under a single address or non-existent addresses. The electoral roll must be revised and updated to wipe out these ‘phantom voters’. The rakyat have a right to an electoral roll that is an accurate reflection of the voting population.

In the longer term, BERSIH 2.0 also calls for the EC to implement an automated voter registration system upon eligibility to reduce irregularities.

2. Reform postal ballot

The current postal ballot system must be reformed to ensure that all citizens of Malaysia are able to exercise their right to vote. Postal ballot should not only be open for all Malaysian citizens living abroad, but also for those within the country who cannot be physically present in their voting constituency on polling day. Police, military and civil servants too must vote normally like other voters if not on duty on polling day.

The postal ballot system must be transparent. Party agents should be allowed to monitor the entire process of postal voting.

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3. Use of indelible ink
Indelible ink must be used in all elections. It is a simple, affordable and effective solution in preventing voter fraud. In 2007, the EC decided to implement the use of indelible ink. However, in the final days leading up to the 12th General Elections, the EC decided to withdraw the use of indelible ink citing legal reasons and rumours of sabotage.

BERSIH 2.0 demands that indelible ink be used for all upcoming elections. Failure to do so will lead to the inevitable conclusion that there is an intention to allow voter fraud.

4. Minimum 21 days campaign period
The EC should stipulate a campaign period of not less than 21 days. A longer campaign period would allow voters more time to gather information and deliberate on their choices. It will also allow candidates more time to disseminate information to rural areas. The first national elections in 1955 under the British Colonial Government had a campaign period of 42 days but the campaign period for the 12th GE in 2008 was a mere eight days.

5. Free and fair access to media
It is no secret that the Malaysian mainstream media fails to practise proportionate, fair and objective reporting for political parties of all divide. BERSIH 2.0 calls on the EC to press for all media agencies, especially state-funded media agencies such as Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) and Bernama to allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all potlical parties.

6. Strengthen public institutions

Public institutions must act independently and impartially in upholding the rule of law and democracy. Public institutions such as the Judiciary, Attorney-General, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC), Police and the EC must be reformed to act independently, uphold laws and protect human rights.

In particular, the EC must perform its constitutional duty to act independently and impartially so as to enjoy public confidence. The EC cannot continue to claim that they have no power to act, as the law provides for sufficient powers to institute a credible electoral system.

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7. Stop corruption
Corruption is a disease that has infected every aspect of Malaysian life. BERSIH 2.0 and the rakyat demand an end to all forms of corruption. Current efforts to eradicate corruption are mere tokens to appease public grouses. We demand that serious action be taken against ALL allegations of corruption, including vote buying.

8. Stop dirty politics

Malaysians are tired of dirty politics that has been the main feature of the Malaysian political arena. We demand that all political parties and politicians put an end to gutter politics. As citizens and voters, we are not interested in gutter politics; we are interested in policies that affect the nation.

Once again, BERSIH 2.0 calls on the rakyat who believe in these eight demands to join us on 9 July to promote democracy and electoral reform. BERSIH 2.0 would like to express our deepest appreciation to the rakyat, NGOs and political parties who have expressed support for these demands. Together we can work towards building a better Malaysia.

BERSIH 2.0 welcomes Umno Youth’s intention to exercise their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to seek an improvement in the electoral system. As both Umno Youth and Pakatan Rakyat component parties have made allegations of involuntary movement of voters, we call on the EC to clarify the allegations considering only the EC is capable of moving voters.

BERSIH 2.0 regards Umno Youth’s move as an indication that the Perhimpunan BERSIH 2.0 is effectively promoting a vibrant democracy and affecting strong pressure on the EC for electoral reform. BERSIH 2.0 wishes success to Umno Youth and all other parties exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly. We call on all participants for any public assemblies to be held on 9 July to ensure a peaceful experience of exercising democratic rights.

BERSIH 2.0 would like to assure the police and all quarters that the Perhimpunan BERSIH 2.0 is a peaceful citizens’ movement. As we have stated previously, BERSIH 2.0 intends to work with the police to ensure the successful facilitation of the peoples’ constitutional right to peaceful assembly.

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In closing, BERSIH 2.0 is pleased to make the following announcements:

Call for donations
BERSIH 2.0 has been conducting its activities of promoting democracy and electoral reforms on limited funds. We are in dire need of funds to continue and intensify pressure for electoral reform in the coming weeks and months. We appeal to Malaysians who believe in our ideals for the democratisation of Malaysia to support us by funding our activities. We deeply appreciate any sum of donation whether big or small.

Account no. : 0300 0064 902
Bank name : Hong Leong Bank Berhad
Account name : Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor

Road shows
BERSIH 2.0 is having a nationwide road show to inform the public about the issues surrounding constituency redelineation and the eight demands for Perhimpunan BERSIH 2.0. The road shows will take place in Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor, Johor, Melaka, Penang, Seberang Perai and Perak. A session in Kelantan just took place last weekend.

Global solidarity
Malaysian citizens and supporters of demands of BERSIH 2.0 in other countries will be organising rallies in their respective locations in solidarity with Perhimpunan BERSIH 2.0.

The following are the details of the solidarity rallies:

1. United Kingdom
Date: 9 July 2011
Time: 12.00pm (local time)
Venue: Malaysian High Commission, 45-46 Belgrave Square, London

2. Taiwan
Date: 9 July 2011
Time: 2.00pm (local time)
Venue: The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Liberty Square, Taipei

BERSIH 2.0 calls on Malaysian citizens living in United Kingdom and Taiwan to join the solidarity rally to strengthen the call for democracy and electoral reform in Malaysia.

Steering Committee
Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0)

The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0 comprises:
Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (Chairperson), Andrew Khoo, Arumugam K., Dr Farouk Musa, Haris Ibrahim, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Datuk Yeo Yang Poh, Zaid Kamaruddin, Dr Subramaniam Pillay and Arul Prakkash.

Aliran is represented on the Bersih steering committee through exco member Dr Subramaniam Pillay and member Dr Toh Kin Woon.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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1 Aug 2011 2.13pm

bangsa lain yg kat atas tu x yah lah nak ngada2, BERSIH la..ingat lah jugak asal dari mane, terima kasih je kat kerajaan..yg Melayu tu jganlah jadi bodoh..bangsa asing x rugi apa pun kalau Malaysia ni huru-hara..ingatlah…terima kasih.!

15 Jul 2011 12.56pm

Jadilah wat keje bodoh, jgn jadi kuda tunggang/tonggeng pembangkang ke sape2 ke…Jom kita BERSIHkan Anuar … tu…suruh sumpah laknat.tunjuk jam Omega…rahsia yg dia kata ada berkotak2 masa DR M dulu, rahsia dia ngan Azmin dan Bininya… jangan jadi Melayu Bodoh..pk-pk la…

12 Jul 2011 12.07am

i won’t chase uncleared objectives if what i have now will drop/loss one by one, i.e.:
1. my current lives
2. my current job/pay
3. my current family
4. my current stay and
5. the current peace environment

malay phrase said “yg dikejar tak pasti lagi akan dapat dan mungkin yg dikendong akan berciciran”.

love peace hate war

10 Jul 2011 1.49am

I think only BERSIH can save Malaysians

7 Jul 2011 12.04pm

my ambition is 2 bcum a politician…tis is d time i need 2 learn politics..each people are giving different comment bout BERSIH..cn i gt some1 who r in d BERSIH management 2 xplain 2 me bout ur prob n mission…nt ny me it might make more than 1000 students 2 understand bout tis organisation…

7 Jul 2011 1.50pm
Reply to  thirushankar

thirushankar, your english is really something else. I’m not sure if your style is the latest trend in your college or what, but my advice to you is just to support Bersih idea as what you wrote earlier. Regarding your request for an explaination, which part of the 8 points Bersih is championing is confusing you? And don’t worry about the politicianslah, they have their own problems. You don’t have to take on any of their problems, let them solve themselves.

7 Jul 2011 11.59am

another thing is there are some of your people pulling d students in 2 support BERSIH.pls dun misuse d students power…v r nt slaves … 4 u all..

7 Jul 2011 11.53am

i support bersih 2.0 idea.its true tat fair election need 2 b held.but then why should u all involve with other political parties such as PKR when they aso practices dirty politics..if BERSIH is 100% 4 d ppl n country there must have no political support…ony d ppl support…i wan BERSIH 2 b neutral.if u all could prove 2 me tat BERSIH is neutral n dun support any political party…i vl b a strong support of urs n get more support 4 u…

6 Jul 2011 7.28pm

Hello Anti Bersih, there are too many people like you in this country that don’t know what is going on and don’t care what is going to happen to our future,but just want to have a peaceful life .You think Bersih got nothing to do but to walk and create chaos , if everyone like you , this country is gone . You think only you want peace , other don’t want . Hello , think la , use your head to think when you bawa anak2 jalan that time .

anti Bersih
anti Bersih
5 Jul 2011 11.11am

stop bersih, we the people of malaysia wants peace, not wanna be cool people trying to make our country look bad,Before you organize bersih better bersih diri sendiri dulu,tolong jangan susahkan orang awam dan family yg nak bawa anak2 jalan jalan this weekend.Kalau nak jugak buat rally buat kat Hutan so will not disturb us rakyat that wants to live in peace….

7 Jul 2011 10.29am
Reply to  anti Bersih

anti Bersih, kalau nak bawak anak-anak jalan-jalan this weekend, teruskan. Bersih pun nak jalan-jalan jugak. Yang nak buat kacau cuma penyokong anti Bersih macam engkau. Tolonglah, jalan-jalan saja jangan jadi macam samseng nanti engkau pun susah.

4 Jul 2011 11.05am

For those who are afraid to go out on 9th of July. I suggest flag a yellow cloth out your home in support. I vote for a fair voting system!

3 Jul 2011 10.24am

Bravo.hightime for us to hold hands and march forward towards independence from a single ruling party. … all clever malaysians will see watch CHANGE REFORMASI.

2 Jul 2011 5.44pm

Napa tak buat kat Jalan Bukit Bintang.. Lagi banyak tourist kat situ so diorang boleh cerita kat famili diorang bila balik… jalan TAR cuma banyak Melayu dan India..
tapikan.. Kalau pilihanraya sebelum ni tak bersih macammana kelantan boleh kekal PAS… Selangor, Kedah, Penang & Perak boleh jatuh ke PAKATAN? Rasanya kalau tak ada Bersih pun PAKATAN boleh menang.. Yang tak undi PAKATAN cuma gologan Middle Class Upper. So workout On that stratergy.. PAKATAN harus ada cara yg lebih BERSIH rasanyatak perlu perhimpunan BERSIH.. sbb lepas PERHIMPUNAN tu banyak sampah yg DBKL kena BERSIH kan.. Cara ini hanya boleh memancing golongan Middle Class Lower.. Dan Lower class group…

1 Jul 2011 1.18am

Perkasa can have thier rally in another area, maybe five km away from BERSIH 2.

M. Vivekananda
M. Vivekananda
23 Jun 2011 10.40pm

Was wondering whether the Bersih 2.0 Rally on 9 July could be held at Dataran Merdeka due to the historical significance of the site.

23 Jun 2011 7.35pm

nak buat ape perhimpunan macam ni, akhirnya huru hara, nak buat mcm negara luar supaya tengok negara huru hara..buat solat hajat lagi baik..anuar tu la keje dari muda, prhimpunan2 tak abis2..tak bleh aman skit

24 Jun 2011 12.02pm
Reply to  amir

Ye lah saudara Amir. Duduklah kat rumah solat hajat hari-hari. Dah tulis, jangan tak buat!

23 Jun 2011 11.59am

I have a suggestion and may I suggest this. A march that will get the crowd and take away the punch that the authorities always throw at marches! Have the rally at a park. You will not get the Lake Gardens but you can always get the park in Shah Alam! Since, the government in Shah Alam is sympathetic to the causes raised by Bersih. The authorities say that these marches cause disruption to the public, take that sting away! Hold it in a park and you can have a march which will be out in the open and you can have a few speakers! Show them how we take every thing into consideration! They cant be sending FRU into the park can they? This is a view, in my view it achieves the objectives, a large turn out, no disruption to public and you take away one big big uncertainty, namely outside agitators who will be there trying to throw flying objects and burning cars! Think about it, it may be the first, but you will get your message across! Give the authorities no option… Read more »

23 Jun 2011 11.07am

It really brings a lump to my throat to read the noble aims of the BERSIH 2.0 rally. Truly, all Malaysians who love this country, our nation and our common future MUST support it.
Malaysia has so much potential its almost unbelievable. God must have smiled as this country was given birth. All this wealth and today its not being fairly shared among its citezens. Some of our founding fathers really made a wrong move when they decided to establish race based politics and parties back then.

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