Friday, July 08, 2011

Malaysian Call for Fair Election: BERSIH 2.0 is on 9th July 2011

Singapore's neighbour, Malaysia is having one of the biggest Demonstration in recent years.

BERSIH (clean) 2.0 is the follow up of the 2007 Bersih Rally. It calls for free and fair elections in Malaysia with 8 demands (more details at the website,

  1. Clean the electoral roll
  2. Reform postal ballot
  3. Use of indelible ink
  4. Minimum 21 days campaign period
  5. Free and fair access to media
  6. Strengthen public institutions
  7. Stop corruption
  8. Stop dirty politics

Lead by Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan, BERSIH 2.0 has so far gathered over 50 thousand likes on it's officialfacebook page with strong calls for Malaysians to be brave enough to come and join in the planned street rally on 9th July 2011.

The street rally is meant to be peaceful and non-political, just civil movements of 62 Non Governmental Organisations asking for greater democracy. However, the response to this rally turns out to be tremendous. Perkasa (a non-governmental Malay Supremacy), and 56 Non Governmental Organisations are asking BERSIH 2.0 to call off their rally and are launching a counter rally against them. UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) Youth also calls for a counter rally, separate from Perkasa against BERSIH 2.0. The opposition to BERSIH 2.0 claims that it is a political movement (as it contains the political opposition party,Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, and Democratic Action Party) out to topple the current government.

Not only that, the Malaysian Government has declared BERSIH 2.0 as illegal, declined gathering permits for all three parties involved and the police are out to arrest the people who are wearing the BERSIH 2.0 yellow T-shirt and several leaders of BERSIH 2.0 . There is also a threat that the rally may lead to a declaration of a state of emergency and wide ensuing violence. This lead to the United Nations human rights office to voice concern about measures being taken by authorities in Malaysia, including restricting freedom of expression, ahead of a peaceful demonstration.

Malaysia's ceremonial head of state, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had to step in and call for all three parties to resolve their differences with the government peacefully. BERSIH 2.0 leader, Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan met with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and agreed to stage the rally in a stadium instead of having it on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. The Home Ministry said that meeting the King doesn't make the BERSIH 2.0 rally legal.

Meanwhile, Malaysians in 24 cities around the world are planning to gather at the same time to show support for the BERSIH 2.0 rally. Notably, Singapore is not in the list. With it's closest neighbour being in such a rocky ship, one has to question does Singapore cares?

Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow, we'll just have to wait and see.

1 comment:

hermit said...

there is 'gathering' sngapore lah! don't trust the website.... trust google.