Home Coalitions Clean and Fair Elections Thomas Fann takes over as Bersih chairperson

Thomas Fann takes over as Bersih chairperson

Photograph: Thomas Fann's Facebook

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The election committee of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (Bersih 2.0), comprising Stanley Yong and Sevan Doraisamy, was appointed with the mandate to run the election of the steering committee of Bersih 2.0 for the 2018-2020 term.

With the closing of the nomination period on 22 October 2018, the committee rhad eceived nominations from six endorsing organisations. namely, Movement for Change, Sarawak, Writers Alliance for Media Independence (Wami), Engage, Gegar, Rise of Sarawak Efforts (Rose) and Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia (Ikram).

All nomination forms were accepted except for one due to the late submission after the deadline for nominations.

One nomination was received for each post (a total of five single posts). Hence, all candidates were elected unopposed.

As for the nominations for committee members (a total of two posts), submissions from two candidates were received. They won unopposed too.

The election committee is pleased to announce the elected steering committee members for 2018-2020 as follows:

Chairperson: Thomas Fann
Deputy chairperson: Muhamad Faisal Abdul Aziz
Vice-chair for Sarawak: Ann Teo
Vice-chair for Sabah: Beverly Joeman
Treasurer: Ngeow Chow Ying
Committee members: Ng Geok Chee and Alex Johnson

Thomas Fann is the founder and chairman of pro-reform non-governmental organisation Engage. He was also part of the Bersih 2.0 steering committee in 2013-2016 where he served first as the southern region vice-chair and then as treasurer. He was active in voters’ registration and spearheaded the Delineation Action and Research Team (Dart) of Bersih to prepare the public to challenge the Electoral Commission’s redrawing of electoral boundaries.

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Through Engage, he also initiated several notable human rights projects like Freedom Fund (to help activists who were being persecuted by the previous government) and Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (Caged) (to monitor the disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh and others).

Faisal Aziz was a legal practitioner who took on cases involving public interest litigation. During his student days, he was president of the National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students (PKPIM). Currently, he serves as the secretary-general of the Muslim Youth Movement Malaysia (Abim). He is also a young writer who regularly writes a column in Malaysiakini and iauthor of the book Islam and The Reformist Thought For The Future and editor of Rohingya: Bantu Atau Bantai?

Beverly Joeman is the current secretariat director of Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia and supreme council member of the Kadazan Society Sabah. A Kadazan from Penampang, she has advocated for Orang Asal rights at the Business and Human Rights Forum, and at the 17th Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations in Geneva. She was also part of the Universal Periodic Review team for JOAS, pushing for the ratification of the ILO Convention 169, and recognition of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Ann Teo’s involvement in civil society started more than a decade ago in a women’s nongovernmental organisation working on issues of violence against women. Her work later expanded to civil and political rights and democratic principles, including training of polling and counting agents as one of the ways for citizens to be involved in democratic processes.

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After the 2013 general election, she helped found Rise of Sarawak Efforts (Rose), a citizens group currently working on voter empowerment. She practises law in Kuching and her greatest wish is to see each Sarawakian especially the young rising up and doing their bit to build the nation that they want.

Ngeow Chow Ying is a lawyer by profession. She is vice-chair for the Civil Rights Committee of the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall for six consecutive years and a board member of Teoh Beng Huat Trust for Democracy. She works on the abolition of the death penalty and against torture. She regular speaks at various international and national conferences and forums; the topics covered include the death penalty, the criminal justice system, deaths in custody and women’s rights issues. She is a trainer for the human rights camp organised by the Democracy Academy of Malaysia. She was an active volunteer for the logistics team in the Bersih 4 and Bersih 5 rallies.

Ng Geok Chee is a lawyer by profession, practising in the Klang valley. She is currently the chairperson of the women’s division of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall and the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong).

Alexzander Johnson is a business relationships manager with an software logistics solutions firm. He is a young entrepreneur who dabbles in both the entertainment industry and the food and beverage industry. He has been a volunteer with various organisations since 2007 through the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute and the Perdana Leadership Foundation during his university days. He has been instrumental in serving Bersih as part of the Pemantau programme since the 2013 general election. He truly believes in the need for clean and fair elections in the country and hopes for a Malaysia that is free from corrupt practices and racial discrimination.

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With all candidates winning unopposed, the election day, originally set for 10 November 2018, is no longer necessary and duly cancelled.

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