The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) launches our 2022 Annual Report detailing the trials and tribulations of BERSIH’s work in an unprecedented political environment. The year 2022 was significant because some reforms agreed by government and opposition parties in the Memorandum of Understanding on Transformation and Political Stability had materialised and later the 15th General Election (GE15) took place and its results produced a hung Parliament.
BERSIH contributed significantly through our advocacy for an anti-party hopping mechanism. We campaigned for the immediate tabling and enactment of the constitutional amendments for an anti-party hopping law in time for the 15th General Election. The law came into effect five days before Parliament was dissolved on the 10th of October and is a vindication of the hard work BERSIH has been doing since the Sheraton Move.
Other reforms in the MOU which was implemented were Undi18 & Automatic Voters Registration, recognition of the office of the Opposition Leader with allowances, and equal Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for opposition MPs, albeit limited only to MPs of parties who signed the MOU. Our contributions in pushing for these reforms included public campaigns, mobilising allies, submitting memorandums outside of Parliament, briefing key political movers including the minister in charge of law, and lobbying for support for the bill. We also co-organised two significant conferences with the Bar Council of Malaysia on the Anti-Hopping Law and Major Institutional Reforms.
BERSIH also remained cognisant of the power of the people and took to the ground with our Ketuanan Pengundi campaign that spanned seven major cities. Our message for the people was to join us in echoing our six demands: i) don’t suppress our votes; ii) stop party-hopping; iii) make Parliament independent of the Executive; iv) abolish draconian laws; v) no double standards; and vi) give ratepayers a voice.
We also mobilised over 120 Pemantaus during GE15 to monitor the elections in three ways: physical observation, online monitoring, and media monitoring. We also launched a revamped website specifically dedicated to election observation, pemantau.org to publish the list of election offences, provide a FAQ section to help voters with the voting process, and a Fact-Checker section to counter misinformation and fake news during GE15.
Post GE15, we anticipated a hung Parliament and issued a statement called “10 Proposals to Form a Post-Election Coalition Government” at the close of Polling Day on 19 November. The proposals made are still relevant and are key to ensuring the viability and stability of the unity government in the months to come.
We also want to express our gratitude to all Malaysians who have supported BERSIH in its fight to defend democracy in our beloved nation. The people’s support and perseverance will force this government and future ones to faithfully amplify the voice of the people.
BERSIH Steering Committee