Press release of Election Committee of BERSIH
10 November 2023
New Steering Committee of BERSIH 2023-2025 elected
The Election Committee established to conduct the election of the new Steering Committee of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (BERSIH) for the term of 2023 – 2025, had completed the process of polling from 7 – 9 November 2023.
The polling process, which was conducted online to enable participation of endorsing NGOs of BERSIH based outside of Klang Vally, saw an active participation of endorsing NGOs and a return of 50 ballot papers out 60 endorsing NGOs of BERSIH. The voter turnout is 83.3%, the highest ever in the election of BERSIH Steering Committee.
The ballot papers were opened and counted immediately after the closing of polling at 5.00pm on 9 November 2023 at the office of BERSIH. The process was webcasted via Zoom to the endorsing NGOs and witnessed by five observers from endorsing NGOs physically.
As the post for Chair, Regional Vice Chair for Peninsular, Regional Vice Chair for Sabah and Regional Vice Chair for Sarawak have been won without contest, the polling conducted was for the position of Deputy Chair with two candidates, Treasurer with two candidates and the three posts of Committee Member with seven candidates.
The results of the vote opening and counting are as follows:
|Deputy Chair||Number of Votes Received||Status|
|Ngeow Chow Ying||23|
|Wong Yan Ke||27||Elected|
|Treasurer||Number of Votes Received||Status|
|Tan Hui Chun||18|
|Sadina Suffian binti Rahmat Suffian||31||Elected|
|Committee members||Number of Votes Received||Status|
|Hasbullah bin Hj Ashari||11|
|Aira Nur Ariana Azhari||27||Elected|
|Haridas S. Krishnan Nair||31||Elected|
With these results, the Election Committee officially declares that the following candidates are elected to form the new Steering Committee of BERSIH for the term 2023 – 2025:
Chair: Thomas Fann
Deputy Chair: Wong Yan Ke
Regional Vice Chair (Peninsular): Azmil Mohd Tayeb
Regional Vice Chair (Sarawak): Ann Teo
Regional Vice Chair (Sabah): Nur Afiqah binti Roslan
Treasurer: Sadina Suffian binti Rahmat Suffian
Committee members: Haridas S. Krishnan Nair, Alex Johnson and Aira Nur Ariana Azhari
The Election Committee congratulates all the winning candidates and wish them all the best in leading BERSIH in 2023 – 2025 and thanks all the other candidates for running in the election. The Election Committee also expresses our gratitude to all the endorsing NGOs of BERSIH for exercising their right to vote actively and making this election highly participative and a successful one. Lastly, we thank the Secretariat of BERSIH for assisting in the running of the election.
Yap Swee Seng/Anne Lasimbang/Stanley Yong
Appendix: Brief biodata of the new Bersih Steering Committee, 2023-2025
Thomas Fann (Chairperson): Thomas has served as Bersih Southern Vice-Chair and Treasurer from 2013 to 2016 before his election as the Chair in 2018. He was active in voters’ registration, organising peaceful protests and spearheaded the Delineation Action & Research Team (DART) of Bersih to prepare the public to object to any unfair delineation of electoral boundaries by the Election Commission. As a social activist, he has initiated several notable human rights projects like Freedom Fund that helped activists and citizens who were being persecuted by the previous government for expressing views that were deemed critical of the government. He also founded Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (CAGED) to monitor the disappearances of religious activists. He was a member of the high-level Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) convened by the Prime Minister to review election laws and systems in Malaysia from 2018 to 2020.
Wong Yan Ke (Deputy Chairperson): Wong serves as the Case and Campaign Coordinator at Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM). He is a former parliamentary researcher as well as former student activist at the University of Malaya, known for his participation in protests, including abolition of AUKU and #Lawan. Wong has been charged under Penal Code sections 504 and 188 for protesting against racism at his convocation ceremony and for filming a police raid, respectively. He firmly believes in striking balance between advocacy and pressure group, maintaining Bersih’s roots as a people’s movement. With a background in grassroots movements, Wong aims to bridge the gap between Bersih, youths, university students, endorsing NGOs, and the masses. His advocacy focuses on repealing oppressive laws to expand democratic and civic space, allowing civil society to freely scrutinize the government, regardless of who is in power.
Azmil Tayeb (Vice Chair, Peninsula) is a political scientist at Universiti Sains Malaysia and an exco member of Aliran. He has researched and published widely on Malaysian and Indonesian politics. He also frequently comments on Malaysian politics on national media.
Ann Teo (Vice Chair, Sarawak) is practising lawyer based in Kuching with involvement in civil society organizations for 15 years. She hopes to make Bersih’s advocacy and conversations more national, especially to strengthen its voice across the South China Sea.
Fiqah Roslan (Vice Chair, Sabah) is passionate about civic engagement and human rights. She enjoyed a career in journalism before pivoting more fully to activism through Undi Sabah and Tiada.Guru. She currently serves as Partnership & Learning Experience Facilitator at the Forever Sabah Institute.
Sadina Suffian (Treasurer) is a former IT auditor whose journey with BERSIH began during GE13 Pemantau drive and the 2018 Electoral Redelineation Review. Currently serving as a Senior Manager at Merdeka Center’s Community Development Division, overseeing initiatives like Team Selangor and MyCatalyz, she is dedicated to grassroots empowerment and civic awareness.
Alexzander Johnson (Committee Member) is a Project Manager by profession. Have been involved in BERSIH since 2012 as district and state head in Election Observations during GE13, GE14 and GE15 for Bersih, he also played key roles for the BERSIH 4 and BERSIH 5 rallies in strategising and mobilising the security team.
Aira Azhari (Committee Member) is the Senior Manager of Advocacy and Events at the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS). She believes that Malaysia’s democracy is changing, and civil society must work towards a fairer, more competitive political culture where everyone can participate freely.
Haridas S. Krishnan Nair (Committee Member) is active in several civil society organizations and sits on the Exco of Aliran Malaysia.