Press Statement, 12 April 2013
Allegations of Tunku Abdul Aziz
BERSIH 2.0 denounces in the strongest terms the wild, baseless and defamatory statements by Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim issued on 8th and 11th April 2013 where he accused BERSIH 2.0 of being an “instrument of money laundering”. We further denounce in the strongest terms his recent attempt to implicate BERSIH 2.0 in an alleged strategy to create “chaos” on polling day. All these allegations are wholly untrue.
BERSIH 2.0 has in fact recently filed a defamation suit against a publication over similar wild and mischievous allegations relating to our funding.
BERSIH 2.0’s accounts are open for all to see and we invite Tunku Aziz to do so. He will then realize the tremendous support we receive from Malaysians who believe in the cause of free and fair elections. We consider the accusation that BERSIH 2.0 is laundering foreign funds for the benefit of a political party, to be an expression of contempt against these Malaysians and the love they have for their country.
The discussion to form BERSIH 2.0 as a civil society outfit was initiated by Maria Chin Abdullah and Wong Chin Huat in 2009, the two civil society members of the original BERSIH coalition. We can confirm that Tunku Abdul Aziz has never been invited to join the BERSIH 2.0 steering committee, nor has he been nominated by us for its leadership.
As for Tunku Abdul Aziz’s attempt to implicate BERSIH 2.0 in alleged plans by “certain parties” to disrupt the electoral process, we consider this to be contemptible. We ask that Tunku Aziz disclose the purported “evidence” that he has. Furthermore, BERSIH 2.0 has made it clear that it does not agree with the randomisation of votes and Tindak Malaysia’s inclusion of this item in their training has apparently ceased since October last year.
Tindak Malaysia and BERSIH 2.0 carry out valuable training for volunteers who are choosing to be PACABA agents or citizen observers respectively. Tunku Aziz ought to attend these training sessions so that he himself can understand the process and appreciate how ridiculous his allegations are.
BERSIH 2.0 has been sent a letter by Tunku Aziz on 11 April 2013 that repeats once again his baseless accusations and has asked that BERSIH 2.0 sign a pledge for a peaceful process on election day.
We do not see how we can even entertain any such request given his outrageous allegations against us. In any event, BERSIH 2.0 does not have to sign a pledge for a peaceful process on election day. That has always been our stand and that is reaffirmed in all the training and voter education that we do. We are committed to a peaceful election day.
However, given the obvious instances of political violence and smear campaigns that go unchecked, we believe the source of the possible “chaos” lies elsewhere.
As former Transparency International President, we would urge Tunku Aziz to:
- Firstly, ensure the transparency, accountability and impartiality of the EC; and
- Secondly, issue a strong condemnation of the political violence and smear campaigns that we currently see.
We note this targeted attack on BERSIH 2.0 and we suspect this will continue until the elections. We also note that some of the negative campaign material by certain parties, targets BERSIH 2.0. We assure Malaysians that regardless of these baseless attacks, BERSIH 2.0’s demand for free and fair elections and for a more just and democratic Malaysia will not falter.
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, 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.