About BERSIH 2.0

Introduction “Only when elections are clean and fair, can citizens be real masters of their own destiny and expect holders of public office to act accountably and effectively.” BERSIH started out as the Joint Action Committee for Electoral Reform, which was formed in July 2005, and the coalition’s objective was to push for a thorough reform of the electoral process in Malaysia. The formulation of the Joint Communique The Joint Communique was a result of an ‘Electoral Reform Workshop’ held in Kuala Lumpur in September 2006. The Joint Communique defines the long-term objectives and the immediate working goals of the coalition. BERSIH Steering Committee The Committee comprises members from the political parties, as well as representatives from the following NGOs: Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Women’s Development Collective (WDC) and Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI). The Beginning of BERSIH BERSIH was officially launched on 23 November 2006 in the Malaysian Parliament building lobby. It was attended by political party leaders, civil society groups and NGOs, including PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah, DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng, DAP National Publicity Secretary and MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok, PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa, PAS Youth chief Salahudin Ayub, PSM Secretary-General S. Arutchelvan, Malaysian Trades Union Congress president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud, WDC executive director Maria Chin Abdullah and SUARAM executive director Yap Swee Seng. Launch of BERSIH 2.0 The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (better known by its Bahasa Malaysia name “BERSIH”) issued its first joint communiqué on 23 November 2006. At its formation, BERSIH comprised civil society organisations and political parties with the objective of campaigning for clean and fair elections in Malaysia. BERSIH’s journey thus far has been both monumental and memorable. The public demonstration of November 2007, which saw thousands of ordinary Malaysians take to the streets in support of clean and fair elections, was a critical juncture in our nation’s electoral journey. Almost 3 ½ years later, the aims of BERSIH continue to be relevant. The time has now come for BERSIH to continue its crusade for clean and fair elections independent of any political party. BERSIH is thus being re-launched as BERSIH 2.0, a coalition of like minded civil society organisations unaffiliated to any political party. Our aim will be to effectively monitor both sides of the political divide. 8-Point Demand Bersih 2.0’s calls consist of 8 points. In summary, they are: 1. Clean the electoral roll 2. Reform postal ballot 3. Use of indelible ink 4. Minimum 21 days campaign period 5. Free and fair access to media 6. Strengthen public institutions 7. Stop corruption 8. Stop dirty politics The Steering Committee members of BERSIH 2.0 are: Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan & Datuk A Samad Said (Co-Chairpersons) Andrew Khoo Arumugam K. Farouk Musa Maria Chin Abdullah Haris Ibrahim Liau Koh Fah Richard Y W Yeoh Toh Kin Woon Wong Chin Huat Yeoh Yang Poh Zaid Kamaruddin The 2014-16 Steering Committee members are: Maria Chin Abdullah (Chairperson) Dr Farouk Musa (Vice-chairperson) Masjaliza Hamzah (Treasurer) Farhana Halim New Sin Yew (and six more regional representatives to be elected/appointed soon)