More cities hold Bersih rallies

By J. Ariffin and Alexis See Tho. The Malaysian Insider Bersih Sydney

KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — Malaysians in cities across the world will rally today in support of the Bersih 2.0 movement to demand free and fair elections, even as authorities threaten to snuff out the group’s march here.

What was started as a street rally in Kuala Lumpur later spawned the Bersih 2.0 Global Solidarity Network, which encourages Malaysians abroad to add their voices to the movement.

The movement kicked off earlier today with rallies in Melbourne, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand, both beginning even as authorities attempt to stifle Bersih’s own rally in Kuala Lumpur.

“Malaysians have the constitutional right to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech in keeping with international human rights norms,” spokesman for Global Solidarity Network Nathaniel Tan yesterday said in a statement today.

“We support Bersih 2.0’s eight points for electoral reform and call in addition for a ninth: Suffrage for Malaysians residing abroad,” he added.

For two weeks, organisers around the world have been busy setting up group pages on social networking site Facebook in support of Bersih 2.0’s call for electoral reform.

Support groups have been set up in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, France, Ireland, Sweden, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Scotland, Canada and the United States.