Oct 22, 07
The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) will hold a mass rally at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 10 to press for electoral reform. After the rally, the polls watchdog will be submitting a memorandum to the King at his official residence nearby, seeking the much needed reform.
The opposition backed group expects at least 10,000 people to turn up to press for changes to the electoral process which it felt favoured the ruling government.
Bersih is demanding for a thorough cleanup of the electoral roll, the use of indelible ink to prevent multiple voting, the abolition of postal voting for military and police personnel and fair access to the mass media for all political parties.
“The memorandum to be submitted to the King will outline both the immediate and long-term reforms needed in the Malaysian election including the adherence of a one-person, one-vote principle,” Bersih committee member Annuar Tahir told a press conference at PAS headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.
Present were other Bersih committee members Animah Ferrar, Wong Chin Huat and Tian Chua, who is also PKR information chief.
Animah said Bersih has chosen yellow as the theme for the rally, adding that it was chosen because it was the colour for citizen actions worldwide as well as the colour for the press freedom movement (the yellow ribbon).
Party leaders and representatives of civil society groups are expected to turn up in yellow for the rally.
Yellow shirts for sale
“Bersih encourages all Malaysians to indicate their support and solidarity by wearing yellow T-shirts, yellow armbands or yellow ribbons on the day of the rally,” she said, adding that Bersih was also selling it’s own uniform of yellow shirts through its website.
“Clean, free and fair elections are fundamentals to democracy. Flawed elections frustrate the functioning of democracy, resulting in corruption and incompetence of the government of the day. The losers are none other than the people,” she said.
To date however, the government and Election Commission have ignored all of Bersih’s demands apart from the use of indelible ink in the coming general election.
“This is not just a gathering of a NGOs or parties, but this a movement for everyone. We feel that without changes, the next elections would be a waste of time and would have little meaning,” said Tian Chua.
“Elections has become a ritual for the BN government so that the cheating would continue. So these issues are bigger than the (opposition) parties and NGOs. This is an issue involving all the people, so we want anyone to come down to show their support,” he added.
10,000 to rally for polls reform on Nov 10