Malaysians abroad calls for end to repressive crackdown in Malaysia

PRESS RELEASE- Bersih 2.0 Global Solidarity Network

The events unfolding in Malaysia in the lead up to a rally calling for electoral reform on 9 July 2011, by Bersih 2.0, a civil society coalition,  have jarred a nerve with many Malaysians living abroad.

In the wake of the government crackdown, over the last week, of the legitimate rights of the Malaysian people to peacefully demonstrate, a Bersih 2.0 Global Solidarity Network has sprung up with co-ordinated action and support developing in Australia, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Austria and United States to date.

Global solidarity walks and demonstrations have been planned on the 9th of July 2011 in London, Taiwan, Sydney, Melbourne, Cranberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Washington in the pursuit of clean and fair elections in Malaysia.

Since the 24th of June 2011, more than 100 activists have been arrested or questioned by police for their role and participation in activities related to the mass rally calling for electoral reform on the 9th of July 2011. Most recently, on the 2nd of July 2011, six people arrested on the 25th of June 2011 in Penang were re-arrested under the Emergency Ordinance a law which allows for indefinite detention without trial.

We believe the incidents above are clearly politically motivated and are aimed at intimidating the Bersih 2.0 organisers, political activists and the wider public from going ahead with the planned rally on the 9th of July.  This crackdown shows an utter disregard for freedom of peaceful expression and assembly, a right which is guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and  under Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution. We believe by continuing these scare tactics, the Malaysian government is seriously damaging the country’s reputation abroad.

There remains a growing concern that the government and associated right wing groups such as PERKASA and PERKIDA might attempt to orchestrate violence at the peaceful rally and use it as an opportunity to arrest many human rights activists and opposition leaders under Malaysia’s notorious Internal Security Act that allows for indefinite detention without trial.

We call on the Malaysian government to:
•    Release all activists who have been arrested immediately and unconditionally and drop all unfounded charges against them;
•    Ensure all those detained have access to lawyers, their family members and any medical care they may require;
•    Stop the use of repressive laws such as the Emergency Ordinance, Police Act and Sedition laws to criminalize peaceful political activities;
•    Respect the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly
•    Conduct itself in a manner that is befitting of a member of the UN Human Rights Council and in doing so earn the respect of the international community and the Malaysian people it serves.

Please take positive action and attend a solidarity walk near you.

Bersih 2.0  Australia

Canberra’s Update:

Event Page –
Date: 9th July
Venue: Parliament Front Entrance

Time: 12.30pm

If you need transport, please be at Davey Lodge at 12.00pm. Please wear yellow and bring cameras along with you to capture this historical moment. Apart from the photo session, we will be having a small picnic with the organizers so may bring some simple things to share (chips, biscuits, fruits, soft drinks, etc)

Sydney’s Update:

Event page –

Date: 9th July

Venue: Sydney CBD Town Hall

Join us to support BERSIH. For democratic, for clean & fair elections, for a better Malaysia.

Melbourne’s Update:

Event page –

Date: 9th July

Venue: Federation Square

Time: 1.30pm


Perth’s Update:

Date: 9th of July

Venue: Malaysian Consulate-General, 252 Adelaide Terrace, Perth, Australia

Time: 1.30pm

Adelaide’s Update:

Fan Page –
Event page –

Date: 9th of July

Venue: Victoria square, Adelaide (opposite hilton adelaide, near the victoria water fountains)

Time: 2pm


Brisbane’s Update:

Event Page –

Date: 9th July

Venue: Brisbane Square

Time: 11.00am

Let’s join us to support BERSIH. For democratic, for clean & fair elections, for a better Malaysia.


Hobart’s Update:   NEW EVENT!

Event Page –

Date: 9th July

Venue: Parliament House Lawns, Salamanca Place, Hobart

Time: 1.30pm


Bersih 2.0 London

Date : 9th July 2011

Time: 12-2pm

Location :  Meet Malaysian High Commission, Belgrave Square at 12pm sharp
                  (nearest Tube Station Hyde Park Corner)
                  12.20-2pm Solidarity Walk ending at Trafalgar Square!/pages/Bersih-20-UK-Walk/111909382231134


Bersih Taiwan

Date : 9 Julai 2011

Time : 2.00pm

Location :  The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Liberty Square,Taipei

Please try to wear yellow clothing and bring your umbrella


1. 向出席者説明主辦此次集會的目的與意義
2. 念訴求
3. 輪番演講(如莊迪澎先生)
4. 現場交流
5. 出席者簽備忘錄(將交到馬來西亞駐台辦事處)


Bersih 2.0 USA

San Francisco’s update

Date: 9th July 2011

Time: 9.30-12.20pm

            Location : Chrissy Field Picnic Area (near Warming Hut), Presidio, San


Los Angeles Update

Date : 9th July 2011

           Time  : 10:00 – 13:00

           Location : Pershing Square, Downtown LA  532 South Olive Street
                            Los Angeles, CA

New York City Update

Date :  9th July 2011
            Time : 10:00 – 13:00

           Location  : Consulate General of Malaysia , 313 East 43rd Street ,New York, NY


Date : 9th July 2011

Time  : 14:00 – 17:00

Location : Embassy of Malaysia, Washington ,3516 International Court Northwest, Washington, DC


Bersih 2.0 Paris

Date : Saturday 9th July 2011
Time : 2-4pm
Place: Place du Trocadéro, 75016 Paris
Metro: Trocadéro (lines 6 and 9)!/event.php?eid=166717446726635



Despite the Malaysian government working hard to sell Malaysia as a tourist destination and being a member of the UN Human Rights Council, it remains clear that its dismal human rights record leaves much to be desired.  The Malaysian people continue to find their civil liberties and basic human rights curtailed on a daily basis by a range of repressive laws. Corruption and a lack of government accountability and transparency continue to be seen as real problems by many Malaysians.
One of the biggest threats to developing a mature democracy in Malaysia is the impediments to free and fair elections. Malaysia’s elections are frequently marred by gerrymandering, money politics, phantom voters, voter buying, rigging and various other fraudulent practises. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has in two recent by-elections been caught on video offering millions of ringgit to voters in exchange for their votes.

In 2005, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) was formed. It is comprised of Malaysian civic and human rights organisations campaigning for electoral reforms and independent monitoring of elections in the country. Bersih 2.0 plans to hold a mass rally on 9 July 2011 to demand, among others, fair access of all political parties to the media, reform of the discriminatory postal ballots system and a revision of the electoral roll to address irregularities for the upcoming 13th General Elections to be held in mid-2012. A similar rally in 2007 attracted over 40,000 supporters and was conducted in a peaceful and organized manner. It was re-launched in 2010 as BERSIH 2.0, still with eight (8) basic demands, which including (1) cleaning up the electoral roll (2) Reform the postal ballot (3) Use indelible ink (4) Minimum 21 days campaign period (50 Free and fair access to media (6) Strengthening public institutions (7) Stop corruption (8) Stop dirty politics.

On the 25th of June 2011, 30 activists from the Parti Sosialis Malaysia were arrested by the police in Kepala Batas, Penang. They were accused of ‘reviving the communist ideology’ and have been remanded under Section 122 of the Penal Code for “waging war against the King.

On the 27th of June 2011, the chairperson of Bersih 2.0, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and poet Datuk A. Samad Said were summoned to the Dang Wangi police station. Both are being investigated under Section 27(5) of the Malaysian Police Act for organising an “unlawful assembly” and Section 27(5) of the Sedition Act.
On the 29th of June 2011, police officers from the Selangor State Headquarters raided the office of the the Bersih 2.0 Secretariat without a warrant. They arrested 7 people and confiscated laptops, cameras as well as materials prepared for the rally including t-shirts, leaflets, banners and placards.  On the 30th of June 2011, police arrested four people in Ipoh, including a member of parliament and state assemblyman, while they were meeting voters wearing yellow clothes, the official colour of the Bersih movement. On the 2nd of July, six of those arrested were charged under the Emergency Ordinance, a law that allows for indefinite detention without trial.

Press contact :
Josef Roy
Tel : ++ 44 (0) 794260804

Yolanda Augustin
Tel : ++ 44 (0) 7894319056

Email: [email protected]