Happy New Year

Global Bersih would like to wish all Malaysians a Happy New Year. Let’s take this season to look back on 2016 and to usher in a brighter year ahead.

Satukan Tenaga, Malaysia Baru.

BERSIH 2.0 Urges Malaysians to Continue the Struggle

BERSIH 2.0 applauds every single supporter for bravely standing up to a corrupt government despite endless intimidation and misinformation. We are growing in strength and numbers. More than ever before, we must continue this wave of change for democratic governance. We cannot and must not stop.

With the recent unconstitutional and biased redelineation exercise by the Election Commission and the looming spectre of the next general election, BERSIH 2.0 pledges to see our electoral and institutional reforms come to fruition.

BERSIH 2.0’s immediate task is to focus on the coming GE14, especially in terms of voter registration. BERSIH 2.0 will campaign for 4 million Malaysians who are eligible to vote to register that together, the rakyat can stake our claim to decide the next government.

We must be the change we want to see and BERSIH 2.0 urges all Malaysians to join us in the fight for a new and better Malaysia.

Human Rights Day 2016

The theme of Human Rights Day 2016 (10 December 2016), “Stand up for someone’s rights today”, reminds us that despite the successes and progress of universal human rights in 68 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the struggle is not over.

In fact, it is relevant now more than ever as Malaysia weathers trying times with the unresolved 1MDB scandal, the persecution of civil society, and the oppression of regular Malaysian citizens.

During the 7-week BERSIH 5 convoy and rally recently, we had to fight for our right to assemble and associate freely while facing a string of harassment and intimidation from violent red-shirted UMNO gangsters as well as the police who sought to restrict our programmes.

In a pre-emptive crackdown to stop BERSIH 5, 16 activists and politicians, including BERSIH 2.0 chairperson, Maria Chin Abdullah, were arrested before and during the rally.

In one of the most recent and flagrant transgression of human rights, Maria was detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (or SOSMA). She was held in solitary confinement, which is nothing less than torture. To misuse an anti-terror legislation on a civil society leader cannot and must not be accepted in a free and democratic country as it opens the door to further abuse.

While Maria has since been released, the attacks on NGOs have not stopped, serving as another distraction from the very real and pertinent issue of the government’s own dubious funding. Under the flimsy guise of foreign funding and conspiracy to topple the government, the authorities seem intent on stamping out civil society for good in a desperate bid to maintain their powers.

On Human Rights Day 2016, BERSIH 2.0 demands the authorities stop the harassment and intimidation of NGOs. The government has a duty to protect the rights of its citizens, not punish them.

The power to change lies in our hands and we must exercise our right to choose leaders who will move Malaysia to a brighter future with the rakyat’s best interests in mind. But for today, let us remember that human dignity lies at the heart of a free, just, and peaceful world.

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