- The people: Malaysians are the winners because they have shown a political awakening which must be reckoned with by all political parties in the country. The people are beginning to embrace a new dawn of proactive democracy. People must be at the forefront of reforms and not any partisans. They have shown their ability to participate peacefully. Largely, the participants are peace loving and non-violent. Many are eager to lend a helping to fellow participants regardless of race or creed. There is hope still for Bangsa Malaysia.
- Malaysia's democracy: Bersih 3.0 has put participatory democracy at the forefront. A large number of participants are youths below the age of 30. It means that this group of apolitical and indifferent Malaysians are finally awakened and embracing their responsibility to participate in the democratic process of the country. More youths are expected to register themselves as voters in the coming months and it may pave a way for a record participation in the next GE. Less than 50% of eligible voters had participated in previous elections.
- The movement of Bersih: This movement has become synonymous to free and fair elections. Bersih shall become an important platform to those who want a free, fair and clean electoral process. It is not a small feat to be able to muster more than 250,000 people in over 40 cities to participate in simultaneous demonstration against electoral biases in Malaysia. The movement must convince more overseas Malaysians to come back to vote in the next GE.
- The Prime Minister, Home Minister, KL Mayor & IGP: History has repeated itself. The authorities have acted in the silliest way ever. They are repeating the violent, aggressive and authoritarian images from Bersih 2.0 all over again. A number of cases involving police violent were well documented by amateur videos and photographs. It is almost impossible and ridiculous to blame the violence on the unarmed protesters against an armed security force who came prepared to strike.
- Najib's Reforms: PM Najib need to convince people of his sincerity in pushing through key reforms in the electoral system if he wants to win back the urban votes. After Bersih 3.0, it will become harder for him to do so. If the Peaceful Assembly Act was passed and came into effect, the government must respect the rights of Malaysians to assemble peacefully. It is ridiculous to suggest that Dataran Merdeka is so sacred and it is out of bound. It is only in Malaysia that the authorities are suggesting that demonstrations must be conducted in stadiums. Stadiums are for sporting events and not demonstrations. Dataran Merdeka would have been a perfect place for Bersih 3.0. The government would have looked very good if the KL Mayor did not act in the most irresponsible manner to disallow Bersih 3.0 at Dataran Merdeka and summoned the police to clamp down the city. He should shoulder the blame for the inconvenience and unnecessary tension built up through his action.
- Bersih committee: This is perhaps one of my most controversial observations but the Bersih committee must accept their weakness and poor organization skills. The committee consists of generals but zero foot soldiers. Bersih 3.0 committee members had depended largely on Pakatan Rakyat to help them organize logistically. This is a big mistake. Any demonstration led by opposition members and leaders may get emotional and tricky. Politicians want to score political points against their rivals. Hence, provocations to secure certain responses from the police/authorities may have triggered some of the clashes. Bersih committee must be better prepared to organize such a mammoth event. They must be responsible to reduce and contain untoward and potentially fatal incidents.
- Pakatan leaders: Leaders such as PKR Azmin Ali, Anwar Ibrahim, Tian Chua and others who were accused of starting the provocations must be held responsible and possibly barred from attending future Bersih events. Their presence may jeopardize the credibility of the non-partisan movement. They must focus on helping Ambiga and her committee and not hijacking her initiatives for their own political benefits.
Bersih is a good and noble platform but it must stay non-partisan and it must be prepared to speak up against the political process without fear or favour. Ambiga has provided a good leadership but she must focus on building a good and reliable team to help organize the movement better. She cannot depend entirely on the Pakatan Rakyat if she does not want to be blamed for helping some parties to achieve their political agenda.
Bersih must be about electoral reforms. It must continue to stand on its ground to push for real reforms in the electoral system and process.