PRESS STATEMENT (1 DECEMBER 2016): BERSIH 2.0 expresses utmost gratitude to supporters for bravely and peacefully standing up to corruption and urges Malaysians to continue the struggle


Friends, thank you all for your overwhelming support and commitment, turning out in large numbers for the BERSIH 5 rally and then continuing to attend the #BebasMaria #MansuhSOSMA nightly vigils. You have again showed that the BERSIH is a peaceful movement and BERSIH 2.0 applauds every single supporter for bravely standing up to a corrupt government despite endless intimidation and misinformation.

We are growing in strength and numbers. More than ever before, we must continue this wave of change for democratic governance. We cannot and must not stop.

With the recent unconstitutional and biased redelineation exercise by the Election Commission and the looming spectre of the next general election, BERSIH 2.0 pledges to see our electoral and institutional reforms come to fruition. These include a clean electoral roll, a reformed postal ballot, the use of indelible ink, a minimum 21-day campaign period, free and fair access to media, the strengthening of public institutions, an end to corruption, and stopping dirty politics.

We must also reclaim our right to dissent. We must struggle to rid the country of oppressive laws which have been enacted to silence critics. We must abolish SOSMA, a draconian law that is so easily open to abuse as can be seen in the recent detention of BERSIH 2.0 chairperson, Maria Chin Abdullah.

Individuals who work for freedom, justice, and democratic governance must not be detained under SOSMA just to quash voices of dissent. It is a completely unacceptable and unjustifiable abuse of power by the authorities, and in particular IGP Khalid Abu Bakar. The work of civil societies is important and must be viewed as an indispensable building block of democracy rather than demonised as a conspiracy to topple a legitimate government.

These are myths and untruths that are continually being put forward by PM Najib Razak and his spineless cabinet and authorities like the IGP and the Attorney-General. Their continued lies are meant to scare, intimidate, and cow us into blind obedience and subservience.

We must no longer accept this. Not a second more will we allow Najib and his cronies to rule without accountability and transparency. We must not allow the government to cheat and steal from the rakyat. Our demands must be met and the people must rise in this fight for a better Malaysia.

BERSIH 2.0’s immediate task is to focus on the coming GE14, especially in terms of voter registration. We will campaign for 4 million eligible voters who are not registered to register as voters that together, the rakyat can stake our claim to decide the next government.

We must be the change we want to see and BERSIH 2.0 urges all Malaysians to join us in the fight for a new and better Malaysia.

Signed by the BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee members