Press Statement, 23 August 2012
Public appeal for funds: BERSIH 2.0 needs your support
When BERSIH 2.0 was launched in April 2010 as a fully non-partisan movement asking for urgent electoral reforms, no one anticipated just how strongly the Malaysian public would respond. The swift and courageous support from all walks of life, many of whom also braved the streets of Kuala Lumpur (and in many other places around the world) on 9 July 2011 and again on 28 April have made it clear that the call for free and fair elections is a sentiment which echoes strongly in our nation.
BERSIH 2.0 has seen an outpouring of support from the public in the last two years and it has enabled the push for reforms to be made, to the point where the government has finally begun to respond. However, their response has not always been positive. In fact, the government often appears more interested in “shooting the messenger” rather than focusing on the message of hand: cleaning up the electoral system.
RM1 campaign for clean and fair elections
As the next general elections looms closer, BERSIH 2.0 seeks your support. The work still needs to continue and we need to work together for all of us to carry on. Therefore, BERSIH 2.0 is now launching a fund raising campaign to ask every Malaysians to support us by donating to the BERSIH 2.0 “Make a difference with RM1” campaign for Clean and Fair Elections. We aim to raise RM250,000 to reflect the 250,000 brave Malaysians who turned up for BERSIH 3.0 : Duduk Bantah on 28 April 2012.
Specifically, the funds will go to:
Medical and Legal Expenses of Victims of Police Brutality
- Supporting the victims of police brutality during and after 28 April who have courageously come forward to seek justice. BERSIH 2.0 wishes to support them if they choose to file lawsuits against the authorities as well as to cover their medical expenses.
- The authorities have decided to launch a civil suit against 10 members of the BERSIH 2.0 steering committee for alleged damages amounting to RM122,000 that were incurred during the Bersih 3.0 “duduk bantah” assembly. The government also wants general damages, interest and a declaration that Bersih breached Section 6(2)(g) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA), despite the fact that the government also declared the PAA as a revolutionary law which would facilitate peaceful assemblies.
- Meanwhile, DBKL has also has sent a notice of demand to co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan and committee member Maria Chin Abdullah, demanding compensation of RM351,203.45 for “losses” incurred during the same event. This includes damage to “landscaping and trees, the cost of setting up metal barricades, cost of transport and support staff, damage to signboards and barriers, as well as overtime allowances, food, drink and transport costs for law enforcers”.
The two wholly unfair charges by the government are seen as targeted attacks against BERSIH 2.0 aimed at derailing the call for free and fair elections. Thus, BERSIH 2.0 urgently appeals to all Malaysians to maintain its focus on this crucial issue and support the effort in whatever ways that they can.
Many lawyers have come forward to volunteer their legal services to BERSIH 2.0 victims as well as to the Steering Committee members who had been sued by the government. While their services are free, there are still expenses to be paid out especially filing fees, transportation and other administrative costs.
Funds raised will cover bail money (where applicable), legal administrative expenses and medical costs. [RM150,000]
BERSIH Awareness Campaign – Keluar Mengundi Lawan Penipuan
Funds are also required for the continued awareness of the various issues surrounding the 8 demands of BERSIH 2.0 to be spread to greater numbers of Malaysians. The awareness campaign activities will cover Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. We will be printing leaflets, producing short cartoon video clips for easy dissemination, conduct workshops and ceramahs to highlight the eight demands of BERSIH 2.0, activities to encourage young voters to vote and be involved, and lastly for BERSIH 2.0 to develop our own BERSIH.TV so that we can have our voices heard.
We are embarking on campaigns throughout the country to bring the message to as many people as possible. With your backing, the core message of “Keluar Mengundi Lawan Penipuan” will reach far and wide, thus putting pressure on the authorities to implement the necessary changes and for you as a voter to decide wisely.
Funds raised will cover BERSIH 2.0 awareness campaign and communications [RM100,000]
The funds collected will be regularly updated on our website with audited accounts made available.
SUPPORT “BERSIH RM1 CAMPAIGN” AND SEND YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO EMPOWER, BERSIH 2.0 Secretariat at:
Account No: 12380000661-10-0
Account Name: Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor
Bank: CIMB Islamic, Section 52, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (BERSIH 2.0)
The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0 comprises:
Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (Co-Chairperson), Datuk A. Samad Said (Co-Chairperson), Ahmad Shukri Abdul Razab, Andrew Ambrose, Andrew Khoo, Anne Lasimbang, Arul Prakkash, Arumugam K., Awang Abdillah, Dr Farouk Musa, Hishamuddin Rais, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Matthew Vincent, Niloh Ason, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh and Zaid Kamaruddin