PRESS STATEMENT (24 OCTOBER 2016): BERSIH 2.0 condemns minister’s plan to blacklist companies financing BERSIH movement


BERSIH 2.0 is shocked and appalled that Abdul Rahman Dahlan has chosen to act on Utusan Malaysia’s proposition to blacklist companies sponsoring the BERSIH movement.

Rahman Dahlan has said that he would direct the Economing Planning Unit (EPU) and the Public-Private Partnership Unit (Ukas) to conduct background checks on companies that seek government contracts through these agencies.

BERSIH 2.0 is disgusted that a minister would stoop so low to single out companies and penalise citizens on their right to association. This blatant abuse of power shows that ministers have lost their sense of proportion in the freedoms laid out in the Constitution and their roles and responsibilities to the citizens of Malaysia.

Instead of addressing the elephants in the room that are grand corruption, poor governance, and unfair elections, this cowardly act has shown the BN government’s clear agenda in clamping down on any form of perceived dissent.

When corporations can be so easily victimised for supporting opposing views, an unhealthy culture of fear and oppression emerges. Do not jeopardise businesses for the sake of stifling dissenting voices.

As there is no national policy for financial allocations for political funding, there is an imbalance of power that favours the ruling party where access to resources and support are easily acquired through illicit funding and offers of projects before and during elections.

BERSIH 2.0 and the G25 Working Committee on Political Financing are pushing for a comprehensive approach on political financing to reduce dependency on corruption.

As for allegation of foreign funding, the same accusation had been levelled against BERSIH 2.0 in 2014 by NST. BERSIH 2.0 won a defamation case against this. At present, BERSIH2.0 is fully supported by our fund-raising efforts and support from the Malaysian public who supports our cause to hold the government accountable for its actions.

Rahman Dahlan’s act of blacklisting companies is another form of intimidating the supporters of the BERSIH movement. Do not let his actions deter us from demanding for institutional reforms, as per our demands for BERSIH5: clean elections, a clean government, the strengthening of parliamentary democracy, the right to dissent, and the empowerment of Sabah and Sarawak.

If supporters are interested in contributing to the BERSIH 2.0 cause, they may channel their donations directly to Bersih and Adil Network Sdn. Bhd. Maybank account: 512295102931.

Signed by BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee members