Support BERSIH 2.0 for Clean and Fair Elections

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (better known by its Bahasa Malaysia name “BERSIH”) issued its first joint communiqué on 23 November 2006. At its formation, BERSIH comprised civil society organisations and political parties with the objective of campaigning for clean and fair elections in Malaysia.
BERSIH’s journey thus far has been both monumental and memorable. The public demonstration of November 2007, which saw thousands of ordinary Malaysians take to the streets in support of clean and fair elections, was a critical juncture in our nation’s electoral journey.
Almost 3 ½ years later, the aims of BERSIH continue to be relevant.
The time has now come for BERSIH to continue its crusade for clean and fair elections independent of any political party. BERSIH is thus being re-launched as Bersih 2.0, a coalition of like minded civil society organisations unaffiliated to any political party. Our aim will be to effectively monitor both sides of the political divide.
Bersih 2.0’s mission is to advocate for a credible and inclusive electoral process so that all eligible Malaysians may freely choose their elected representatives and governments in clean and fair elections and benefit from healthy party competition at all levels of government: federal, state and local.
BERSIH 2.O’s priorities are to lobby decision-makers and educate the public on electoral reform.
Specific Issues include:
i. automatic registration
ii. impartial constituency redelineation
iii. breaking the Election Commission’s Information monopoly
iv. absentee voting reform
v. the use of indelible ink to prevent fraud
vi. 21-day minimum campaign period
vii. election finance reform
viii. free and fair media access
ix. administrative neutrality
x. local council elections
xi. the right to observe elections.
Action 1: Advocacy for Electoral Reform
Aim: to build up analysis and arguments to advocate for a comprehensive electoral reform
i. Publication of eight (8) Advocacy Papers to highlight four (4) key and emerging areas to support advocacy in laws and policies. Publication will be in four languages, targeting stakeholders and the public.
ii. Three (3) Roundtable discussions to engage stakeholders (Election Commission, government agencies, political parties, civil society organisations and academics) on three main themes: (a) suffrage and voting, (b) constituency redelineation; (c) contestation and multiparty democracy.
iii. The summaries of the recommendations from the roundtable discussions to be published as booklets and uploaded to websites for wide dissemination.
iv. Media Workshops for journalists
Action 2: Build Citizens’ Participation in Electoral Process
Aim: to encourage citizens to participate meaningfully in constituency re-delineation and the electoral process in general
i. Twelve (12) interactive training sessions on constituency delineation and voter rights in general.
This will enable citizens to visualise the impact of changes in constituency boundaries through the use of video, interactive mapping of constituency boundaries and other creative methods to enhance interest and participation.
ii. Setting up a special website providing (a) interactive electoral maps with socio-economic data of neighbourhood; (b) a forum to interact and exchange experience in constituency redelineation.
Action 3: Citizens as Watchdogs for Electoral Reform
Aim: develop on-going monitoring mechanism with voters’ participation in and ownership of democracy, through reporting electoral irregularities and frauds.
i. Public online reporting irregularities through Bersih 2.0 website
ii. Publicising it through the new media, e.g., twitter, facebook and other online communication
iii. Monthly release of complaints of and reporting on electoral irregularities and fraud,
iv. Twelve (12) half-day documentation workshops to train specific groups and journalists on electoral irregularities and fraud to enhance quality of data collection.
Who will benefit?
(a) Citizens as voters and other under-represented and minority groups.
(b) The Election Commission and Government agencies who will benefit from specific recommendations from Bersih and other CSOs.

BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee Members

Steering Committee Members Short Description
1. Dato’ Ambiga Sreenavasan Chairperson of BERSIH. Former President of Malaysian Bar Council and a senior practising lawyer.
2. Andrew Khoo Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee, Malaysian Bar Council
3. Arumugam K. President of SUARAM, a well-known human rights organisation
4. Dr Farouk Musa President of the Islamic Rennaisance Front, a think tank promoting civilisational dialogue; a lecturer
5. Maria Chin Abdullah Executive Director of Empower, a women and human rights organisation and working for democratic governance.
6. Haris Ibrahim Founder of Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia, a citizen movement that fights corruption and racism; a human rights lawyer
7. Liau Koh Fah Chair of the Civil Rights Committee, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
8. Richard Y W Yeoh Councillor of Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
9. Dato ‘ Dr . Toh Kin Woon Chair of LLG Cultural Development Centre, a group promoting multiculturalism; a former state minister
10. Wong Chin Huat Chair of Writers’ Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI); a political scientist; a commentator
11. Yeoh Yang Poh Former President of the Malaysian Bar Council (which year please) and member of the Civil Society Initiative (CSI) for Parliamentary Reform (CSI@Parliament).
12. Zaid Kamaruddin President of Jamaah Islah Malaysia, a Muslim-based organisation that promotes social reforms
Faisal Mustaffa Coordinator of the Secretariat.
BERSIH 2.O would appreciate your support in this movement for citizens by citizens. If you have any queries, please feel free to contact Faisal Mustaffa at 019-2232002 or [email protected].
I look forward to your kind contribution and participation in making our elections truly free and fair.
By Cheque in the name of PERSATUAN KESEDARAN KOMUNITI SELANGOR or directly into the account at Hong Leong Islamic Bank, Account Number: 03000064902
Note: As Bersih 2.0 is a coalition of non-governmental organisations, all contributions will be directed through Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER), secretariat for Bersih 2.0. The Accounts will be audited by ichard Ho & Associates.