“Malaysia Baharu” Forum by Bersih Paris
Bersih France hosted a Global Bersih Forum on 5 October on ‘Malaysia Baharu?’ to discuss the way forward for the country. A distinguished panel of speakers – Zunar, Professor Bridget Welsh, Dr Wong Chin Huat, and Clare Rewcastle-Brown shared thought-provoking insights on the state of Malaysia Baharu one and a half years after GE14, and on how they saw the situation evolving.
Attendees from France, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland – together with online participants from Malaysia, the UK, and the US – engaged in a lively exchange on issues ranging from education reform to race-based politics.
The discussion was followed by an opportunity for participants to learn about Global Bersih’s activities and plans, and developments in Bersih chapters in Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
A highlight of the afternoon was a fascinating live cartoon drawing session by Zunar. The result – a powerful depiction of Malaysia Baharu as a tender flowering plant whose extensively developed root system revealed the enormous grip and reality of race- and religion-based politics – was donated by Zunar. The cartoon was auctioned off to the highest bidder, and the proceeds of the auction went to Global Bersih’s funds to further its cause.
The high quality of the interventions and discussion gave Global Bersih the impetus and a valuable basis for developing a statement calling on the Malaysian government to act on priority reforms, and on planning its own way forward.