Friday, November 24, 2006

Launching of BERSIH – Gabungan untuk Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil


RELEASED by BERSIH’s Spokesperson and Malaysian Trades Union Congress President Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud on 23rd November 2006 in Parliament House, Kuala Lumpur.

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In response to the public outcry over reported irregularities and controversies in the 2004 general elections, BERSIH - Gabungan untuk Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil (Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections), comprising civil society organisations and political parties is launched today with the objective of campaigning for electoral reform to ensure free and fair elections in Malaysia.

The current flawed electoral process raises questions about the legitimacy of the State. Its continuity will not bode well for our nation’s future and will harm the legitimacy of the political system, as clearly demonstrated by developments in Thailand, the Philippines and Taiwan.

We have set out in our Joint Communiqué a long term electoral reform agenda for the nation, including a list of demands. For the immediate short-term, BERSIH calls upon the Chairman and Secretary of the Election Commission (EC), Tan Sri Abd. Rashid bin Abd. Rahman and Datuk Kamaruzaman bin Mohd Noor to implement the following three specific reforms concerning the electoral roll and polling as the first steps towards a free and fair election:

• The use of indelible ink (as is done in Indonesia and India ) to prevent multiple voting;
• The abolition of postal votes except for diplomats and other overseas voters;
• A complete revision of the electoral roll to ensure that the existing irregularities are removed and a roll with full integrity is in place.

In the event that BERSIH does not see a positive response from the Chairman and Secretary of the EC towards the above long-term agenda and, specifically, the three immediate reforms, BERSIH will call for their resignation.

At the moment, 25 NGOs and 5 political parties have endorsed this campaign. BERSIH will conduct road shows and public meetings to solicit support from fellow Malaysians for free and fair elections. BERSIH will also seek an appointment to meet the EC Chairman to deliver the above demands.

For further information, please contact Mr. Wong Chin Huat at 019-3502823


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