Archive for August 31st, 2015

Post-Bersih 4: The Morning After

The 58th Merdeka Celebrations had been on the grandest scale ever in the nation’s history – with some 400,000 Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, age, gender or even party politics in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu coming out freely and voluntarily, without any monetary inducements, in the past two days to give real and true meaning to “Merdeka”!

With today’s official Merdeka Day celebrations in the various states, let us ensure that Merdeka Celebations, like Malaysian nation-building, shall be inclusive to embrace diverse themes which make plural Malaysia full of such promise to be a great nation – whether “Sehati, Sejiwa”, “Bersih 4” or “Bersih, Cekap, Amanah”.

What lessons in Post Bersih 4 – “The Morning After”? Read the rest of this entry »


Three things we learnt from: Bersih 4

by Mayuri Mei Lin, Aizyl Azlee and Kamles Kumar
Malay Mail Online
August 31, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 — Despite the rumours and threats of a police crackdown after Putrajaya persisted in banning its signature yellow T-shirts and branding it illegal, the two-day rally by electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 ended at the stroke of midnight last night with little incident.

The 34-hour rally that kicked off at 2pm Saturday which drew tens of thousands of government dissenters into the capital city’s streets demanding the prime minister’s resignation, was a mammoth demonstration of civil disobedience, possibly the biggest of all the assemblies in the Bersih series.

Bersih 4 was allowed to run its course—in Kuala Lumpur at least, though those held simultaneously in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu ended prematurely—but was still laced with missteps and will continue to fuel debates that the rally will not change Malaysia’s electoral system nor its parliamentary practices.

However, here are the three takeaways from the Bersih 4 rally: Read the rest of this entry »

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Huge Anti-Government Protests in Malaysia Continue For a Second Day

Nash Jenkins / Kuala Lumpur
30th August 2015

Large Crowds Are Gathering to Demand the Ouster of Malaysia’s Prime Minister
Malaysia’s Anti-Graft Agency Says the Millions in Prime Minister Najib’s Accounts Are ‘Donations’

Saturday’s massive but harmonious anti-government demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur continued overnight and into Sunday morning as historical numbers of Malaysians gathered in the streets of the capital to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

“It’s what we need to do for the prime minister to hear our voices and realize we don’t need him anymore,” Abdul Muiz, a 26-year-old businessman in a plastic Guy Fawkes mask, told TIME early Sunday. “I think it’ll stay peaceful — the object is peaceful revolt, since we’re a peaceful nation.”

The marathon rally is expected to last until midnight on Sunday, which will mark the beginning of Merdeka Day, the anniversary of Malaysia’s independence from Britain in 1957. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s masses protest against corruption

Aug 30th 2015 | KUALA LUMPUR | Asia

A grand day out – Large but orderly marches keep the pressure on an embattled prime minister

TO LISTEN to the dire pronouncements from Malaysia’s authorities, you might have expected a riot. But the big rally which took place in Kuala Lumpur this weekend, organised by Bersih—an electoral reform group angered by allegations of corruption in government—was a calm and joyful affair. Bersih (which means “clean” in Malay) reckoned that 200,000 marched to the capital’s central square on Saturday afternoon to demand the resignation of the prime minister, Najib Razak; the police pegged the crowd at 30,000. Almost everyone wore Bersih’s signature yellow T-shirts—despite the government’s claim, at the eleventh hour, that they were illegal. One yellow-swathed campaigner waved a sunshine-yellow placard: “You can ban a T-shirt”, it read, “but you can’t ban an idea”.

The rally began at 2pm on Saturday and continued overnight. Parents came with teenage and grown-up children (infants were discouraged). Supporters on Twitter quoted lines from “Les Miserables”, and at least one rally chief tried to lead crowds in some of its tunes. A few campaigners sported bags that read “My prime minister embarrasses me”; one handy protestor had carved a pint-sized model of Mr Najib from polystyrene, which perched on a swing inside a cage. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysians Gather Peacefully to Demand a New Politics

Nash Jenkins / Kuala Lumpur
Aug. 29, 2015

The historic rally in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday drew tens of thousands, but saw no violence

Tens of thousands of Malaysians assembled near Kuala Lumpur’s Merdeka Square on Saturday to demand that Prime Minister Najib Razak step down from office.

The rally, one of the largest demonstrations against Malaysia’s government in recent memory, was the culmination of escalating public hostility toward Najib, especially after The Wall Street Journal reported that his private bank accounts held over $700 million in funds purportedly siphoned off a struggling state investment fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad. Officials say the money came from private donors to be spent on the last general elections in 2013.

But, on Saturday, the call of the day — and the name of the anti-corruption movement that organized it — was “bersih,” which means “clean” in Malay. Read the rest of this entry »

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