Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bersih 2.0: Support This Movement for a Better Malaysia

I would like to congratulate the steering committee members of Bersih 2.0 and the founders of the first Bersih movement for their lasting commitment to see a fairer and better electoral system in Malaysia.

A functional democracy alone is not enough for Malaysia. Elections, public institutions and civil society organisations have been used by autocratic regimes to justify a 'democratic rule'. We need a thriving democracy which is fair, just and expanding.

Former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan who now helms Bersih 2.0 was right to note that public institutions especially the ones which have been guaranteed their independence and existence through the federal constitution must not only be seen to be fair but act fairly as well. Unfortunately, the Malaysian Election Commission has often been seen as a tool of the regime.

During her speech, Ambiga listed down Bersih 2.0's 11 demands for electoral reforms, two of which are new:

1. Complete revision of the electoral roll.
2. Use of indelible ink in elections.
3. Reform of postal voting.
4. Free and fair media access for all contesting parties.
5. Minimum campaign period of 21 days.
6. Fair and professional constituency redelineation.
7. Automatic registration of all eligible voters.
8. Reduction of the voting age from 21 to 18 years old.
9. Reform in electoral financing rules to ensure transparency.
10. Administrative neutrality of all levels of governments.
11. Affirming the political right of all students of 18 years and above.

I support her call for active and healthy political debates between contesting candidates in the next general elections. At present, elections are won through developmental promises which can be seen as political corruption or money politics. Worse, some political parties have raked up assets worth billions. How is this situation possible?

I would like to urge responsible Malaysians to go out, join forces and unite to do a few things:

1) Get your friends or family members above 21 years of age to register as voters;
2) Persuade your friends especially those around the region to come to vote every four or five years;
3) Help to educate them about the responsibility of a good government and the relationship between government and society;
4) Campaign against corrupt politicians, racial politics and religious bigotry;
5) Reject politicians who are useless, senseless and knowledge-less

Politicians who are too free and are spending a lot of time going around the country trying to gain support for themselves should spend some of their valuable time to promote these messages to the public especially those who are living in the rural, semi-rural and semi-urban areas.

True people patriots do not care about position or power. They care more about their people and their well-being. Nelson Mandela was a reluctant president of South Africa and he had reached out to his captors to lay a united and better future for his country post-apartheid.

Here, we have a Defence Minister who shoots himself on the foot by suggesting that non-Malays were less patriotic for not joining the armed forces. The patriotic minister should tell us more about PKFZ financial scandal and how to nab the culprits if he is really so patriotic himself.

With silly politicians all around, it makes a movement like Bersih 2.0 very meaningful and timely. Another setback, Malaysian voters are going to grow more apathetic towards the voting process if they do not see any possible change through the ballot boxes.

Then, we can all enjoy a year round and perpetual racism, racial rhetoric, arrogant political speeches and nut case members of parliament who are only interested in trivial issues. No wonder Malaysia is losing out to Singapore soon in GDP (projected USD210 billion to USD205 billion in 2010) and long lost out in brain gain.

So, would you spend your time with Bersih 2.0 or Keadilan Baru?


Anonymous said...

I pray Bersih 2.0 can make some headway but will the EC entertain the demands.
Even Speakers of the house (Perak and Kedah) had their rulings dismissed by the EC Chairman to please UMNO.
The EC is blatantly showing that it is a component of BN.

Raja Petra has said EC had admitted to him that's function is the make sure UMNO remains in power till eternity.
He had also said postal votes are to help UMNO Ministers will elections. Without them all will lose.
The odds are stacked against Bersih 2.0.
I will do my part by encouraging all my friends to get their children and relatives to register as voters and vote in the next GE.

Urban Voter said...

But those useless ministers(like Zahid and the samseng Noh Omar),their constituencies(Bagan Datoh and Tanjung Karang)are mostly rural and you know their strategies to garner vote.Wonder what is the percentage of voters surf the internet or read Malaysiakini in these areas?
Maybe BERSIH 2 should look into this aspect also.

Anonymous said...

Salam sejahtera,

Saya Salwa Muharam, dari Unit Komunikasi Korporat, Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia ingin memaklumkan bahawa pihak SPRM akan mengadakan satu program DIALOG BERSAMA BLOGGERS pada 25 November 2010 ini di tempat yang akan dimaklumkan kemudian (sekitar Kuala Lumpur).

Program ini dijangka akan melibatkan seramai 50 orang bloggers yang dipilih. Sehubungan itu, saya berbesar hati menjemput tuan bagi pihak SPRM untuk menghadiri program Dialog ini.

Program ini akan melibatkan dialog secara bersemuka antara Ketua Pesuruhjaya SPRM, Dato' Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed dengan golongan blogger antara lain bagi memberi penjelasan secara terus kepada golongan ini tentang mesej perubahan dan usaha pembanterasan rasuah secara berterusan yang dilaksanakan oleh SPRM.

Pihak SPRM amat berbesar hati menjemput pihak tuan menyertai dialog ini agar dapat bertukar-tukar pandangan ke arah usaha pembanterasa rasuah di negara ini.

Saya menunggu maklumbalas tuan berhubung pelawaan ini, dan tuan boleh berhubung secara langsung dengan saya di talian 03 88867659, atau email

Terima kasih.

Salwa Muharam
Unit Komunikasi Korporat
Aras 7, Kompleks D6, Parcel D,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, 62007 Putrajaya.

SetiaSelalu said...

We all have a part to play in bringing about change. Rosa Parks a black woman in America took a brave individual stand all by herself to fight segregation laws, Ghandi took on the might of the British Empire, Nelson Mandela struggled against the impossible to bring change.
For Evil or wrongs and injustice to continue, Good people say and do nothing.
We can join in the signature campaign, protest walk,highlight the possible POSTAL VOTES RIGGING and support BERSIH and register and volunteer your service with the Reformasi movements.

Anonymous said...

When you attend the meeting with MACC chairman, please tell the idiot to go after BN leaders and not be an UMNO stooge.
Tell him that MACC reputation has been flushed down the toilet.
In any case, this meeting will be just a PR exercise. Nothing will come out of it.

Anonymous said...

A patriot should repat all wrongs in the country.
BN, MCA, Gerakan, MIC... are not patriotic because they cohort in doing wrongs.
Similarly, civil servants in EPF, MOF.... are not patriotic as they don't seem to be doing their jobs; how long it take to approve a business licence?? So why we are not losing out to Singapore? Why we have brain drain?
Ambiga should include reform in the civil service too in her speech.

Anonymous said...

The present situation is still very fluid. When things and people are more settled, then that is the time to decide.

Let the people not be affected by the vagaries of human follies, conceit, and self-aggrandisement!

Anonymous said...

Is this a rakyat movement or an OPPOSITION movement?

They (the opposition) are part of the elections too so i do not think its appropriate for them to be leading this movement.

It should be a purely civil movement and apolitical for it to gain more credibility. For as long as PR politicians are involved, you are nothing more than an opposition shadow play

najib manaukau said...

Half a loaf is better than none for now !
Umno/BN must be kicked out of their places and be taught a lesson it is better late than never.

Anonymous said...

BERSIH alleged that the Malaysian election procedures are fraudulent or not ‘clean’. But I wonder how the opposition parties (PKR, DAP and PAS) able to win 82 Parliament seats and many State seats in 2008 general election and successfully formed 5 state governments in Peninsular Malaysia (Selangor, Perak, Penang, Kedah and Kelantan)if the election proses and procedures are fraudulent not clean.The opposition further won almost 50% of the bye elections held after 2008 general election.

This clearly indicates that BN government always make sure and gurantee a clean election conducted by an election an election commission as stipulated by the Federal Constitution. Election Commission is free to conduct their duty and not a tool of BN government as alleged by BERSIH. But on the other hand, BERSIH is in control of or collaborating with the opposition parties in organising public rally.PM Najib Tun Razak gives more freedom and power to rakyat and media to be critical of his government.Even he encourage rakyat to engage with him directly to channel their views to further enhance the virtues of democracy and good governance.

Najib Tun Razak has embarked a total war against corruption whilst initiating many transformation plan to make the diverse population united, prosperous , happy and safe.A democratic government make policy and decisions based on the voices of majority and not dictated by a small group of people, who claim to be non- governmental but in reality working with opposition parties.

I urge the responsible citizens to come forward to support the initiatives of Najib Tun Razak’s government to make Malaysian free from from anarchy deemed to be caused by some irresponsible people who are working with some anti nationals, disguising themselves as champions of democracy and people’s power.Rakyat must be vigilant against this selfish people who are out to hoodwink rakyat with their agenda to capture Putarajaya through backdoor.