Launch of Electoral Reform Roundtable Report

On 9th May, 2018, Malaysia stunned the region and the world when a broad coalition of opposition parties won office, ushering in Malaysia’s first transfer of power since independence in 1957. Malaysia’s experience shows us that politics cannot stand still in the face of changes brought by economic development, urbanization, and mass education. That experience also shows that it is possible to overcome the politics of identity and offer voters a credible democratic alternative; it also demonstrates that high voter participation can level the electoral playing field to deliver democratic…

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The flawed Overseas Voting Process of GE14 must be reformed in new Malaysia

JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT A timely and comprehensive reform to current voting procedures for Malaysians living abroad must happen in this Parliament if the promise of a new, more democratic Malaysia is to be realised, say Global Bersih and Bersih 2.0. According to recent United Nations (UN) estimates, the number of Malaysians abroad soared to 2.7 million in 2017 from fewer than 1.3 million in 2010 (1). As most Malaysians abroad tend to be recent emigrants, it is likely that the majority are registered voters – and there is an urgent…

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Global Bersih denies baseless allegation it was created by political parties to advocate an Arab Spring-like uprising

MEDIA RELEASE Global Bersih categorically denies the baseless allegation that Malaysian political parties formerly in the Opposition (prior to the 14th General Election) “had established NGOS such as Bersih Global (sic) to advocate an Arab Spring-like uprising in Malaysia”. (1) As reported by Malaysiakini on 19th July 2018 (2) and Free Malaysia Today on 20 July 2018 (1), these allegations were detailed in a letter dated 4th May 2018 from Hasanah Abdul Hamid, then Director-General of the Research Department in the Prime Minister’s Department, on behalf of the Malaysian External…

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Global Bersih condemns police harassment of human rights lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri

MEDIA RELEASE Global Bersih strongly condemns the police harassment of human rights lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri. The new Malaysian government must uphold democracy and free speech in keeping with its reform agenda, as outlined in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto for the 14thMalaysian General Election. Fadiah was hauled up by the police on 11 July 2018 over an opinion article about the monarchy (1), and questioned under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 233 of the Communications & Multimedia Act 1998 (2). On 17 July, Fadiah will face…

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Change of gov’t necessary but insufficient for a more democratic Malaysia, electoral and institutional reforms urgently needed

MEDIA RELEASE 10 May 2018Global Bersih welcomes the historic step taken towards a more mature democracy in Malaysia as Malaysians voted for the first ever change in the governing party since the country’s independence (1957 for Malaya/West Malaysia and 1963 for East Malaysia). Given the high level of irregularity, gerrymandering, malapportionment and blatant corruption that marred the 14thMalaysian General Election (1), as well as the severe institutional failures revealed by the 1MDB and other recent scandals (2), we call on the incoming government to urgently set in motion the institutional,…

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Global Bersih welcomes UK Government Call for External Election Observers ahead of Malaysia’s General Election on May 9th

London – April 19, 2018 – Global Bersih, the international non-profit organisation of the Malaysian diaspora promoting democratic and electoral reform, and human rights, welcomes the UK Government’s call for Malaysia to invite external election observers, in advance of the 9 May election. On the 28 March 2018 Ann Clywd MP (Chair of the UK Parliamentary Working Group on Human Rights) tabled a series of questions in relation to the concerns over electoral fraud in Malaysia’s upcoming elections, electoral boundary changes and recent legislation such as the Anti-Fake News Act…

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Election Commission sabotaging overseas postal voting system

PRESS RELEASE 25 APRIL 2018 The Election Commission is sabotaging its own overseas postal voting system, which was established after the 2012 Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform. In 2013, Malaysian voters living overseas (except in Singapore, southern Thailand, Kalimantan and Brunei), were able for the first time to vote by post, following the recommendations of the 2012 Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform. In 2013, the delivery and return of Malaysian overseas postal votes was undertaken by Wisma Putra, with Malaysian overseas postal voters filling out their postal votes…

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Election Commission obstacles stop many overseas Malaysians from voting

MEDIA RELEASE 11 April 2018 Global Bersih and MyOverseasVote (MOV) strongly condemn the recent decision by the Election Commission (EC) to fix a short 11-day campaign, culminating in polling on a Wednesday, which places yet another unreasonable obstacle in the way of millions of overseas Malaysians voting in the upcoming 14th General Election (GE14). According to recent United Nations estimates, the number of Malaysians abroad soared to 2.7 million in 2017 from less than 1.3 million in 2010 (1). As most of the Malaysian diaspora are recent emigrants, it is…

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Response to Statement by the Singapore Police Force on Global Bersih

PRESS RELEASE 5 April 2018 Global Bersih is surprised at the recent allegation by the Singapore Police Force that we have been ‘encouraging overseas Malaysians to support political activities…’, and the implication that we might be among the foreigners ‘using Singapore as a platform to further political causes’ or engaging in ‘unlawful public assemblies…for the purposes of election campaigning’ (1). We would like to point out that Global Bersih is a non-partisan international movement of overseas Malaysians and friends of Malaysia with the goal of supporting Malaysian civil society and…

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