MEDIA STATEMENT (9 July 2014)
Three years on after the momentous Bersih 2 gathering that saw thousands in Kuala Lumpur turning up to defy a lockout of the city centre, Malaysians are yet to see the demands we had rallied for.
Of the original eight demands of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0), only one – the use of the indelible ink – was implemented successfully, but after the 13th general election (GE13). Not a single official has taken responsibility over the failure of the indelible ink in GE13, which went beyond an international embarrassment and will now stand forever as another damaging example of governmental incompetency and non-accountability.
In between Bersih 2 and GE13, we have had an even bigger rally on 28 April 2012. Yet the government has barely moved on electoral reform post-GE13. The recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee are all but forgotten and we are still waiting for the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah.
Many supporters think a Bersih 4 is in order. But before a rally of that scale can be held, we need to strengthen grassroots awareness so that our demands, when we take to the streets, will come from an informed citizenry that will not budge until the authorities move. BERSIH 2.0’s work must therefore continue and extend beyond demonstrations.
One of our current and upcoming projects is the Delineation Action and Research Team (DART). We have conducted a nationwide roadshow since February, raising awareness of the upcoming redelineation of electoral boundaries by the Election Commission (EC) and how this process can decide the outcome of GE14 and GE15. More excitingly, we have taught the ordinary people how they can determine their electoral boundaries in accordance with constitutional guidelines and provisions. Using DART tools, they can even come up with their own map of their proposed constituency. Together with our project partner, ENGAGE, we are now moving on to Phase II, which will see public displays of these proposed maps that are done by the constituents themselves; all feedback, including from the EC, is welcome!
Besides that, recognising that the battle for electoral reform must also take place in the legal sphere, we will be taking the government to court – among others to strike off Section 9A of the Elections Act, which prevents challenges to the gazetted electoral roll.
Most crucial of all, we need serious voter education in areas where there is poor access to alternative information.
To do all this, BERSIH 2.0 needs a projected total fund of RM800,000 annually.
BERSIH 2.0 is organising a fundraising dinner on 8 August 2014, 7.30pm, at the MBPJ Civic Centre, Petaling Jaya. Tables are going for RM2,000, RM5,000 or RM10,000.
We also welcome donations of RM50, RM100, RM500, or any amount.
As of 8 July, we have raised RM119,910.
Holding the government to account is the responsibility of every citizen, as the boss. Please help BERSIH 2.0 do it.
Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor
A/C No: 03000064902 (Hong Leong Bank)
Swift code: HLBBMYKL
For more information, go to: www.bersih.org/champion
Issued by: The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0, which comprises:
Maria Chin Abdullah (Chairperson), Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa (Deputy Chairperson), Masjaliza Hamzah (Treasurer), Farhana Abdul Halim, New Sin Yew, Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah Vice-chair), Ahmad b. Awang Ali (Sarawak Vice-chair), Abd Halim b. Wan Ismail (East Peninsula Vice-chair), Thomas Fann (South Peninsula Vice-chair), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Central Peninsula Vice-chair) and Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (North Peninsula Vice-chair).