GE13: Bersih backs MCLM’s stand

By Stephanie Sta Maria, FMT

PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 chairperson, S Ambiga, has thrown her support behind the Malaysia Civil Liberties Movement’s (MCLM) stand to prevent the next general elections from proceeding before the necessary reforms are put in place.

On Saturday MCLM president, Haris Ibrahim, said that MCLM had received “credible information” that Parliament will be dissolved on November 11 and that polling day would be fixed for December 10.

He pointed out that any elections called before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) had completed its work will not be free and fair.

Haris said MCLM will take all steps necessary to stop the general elections from proceeding before reforms are put in place.

“Bersih 2.0 completely understands why MCLM has taken this stand,” Ambiga told FMT.

“They had done so based on information that the prime minister (Najib Tun Razak) will be calling for elections before implementing electoral reforms.”

‘PSC an eyewash’

Last week the Election Commission (EC) told an online news portal that it would be conducting a briefing exercise for its electoral officers and is expected to complete it by the end of this month.

Previously the nation went to the polls five months after the training was completed but the EC has remained mum over whether it is at the tail-end of preparations for the next general elections.

Ambiga heavily stressed the importance of electoral reform and that Malaysia cannot go to the polls with the electoral roll in its current state.

“There is certainly a feeling that there was no genuine intention to reform and that the PSC was just an eyewash.

“The rakyat will definitely feel misled.”

“We accepted the setting up of the PSC in good faith and it will be a letdown for the rakyat if the elections proceed without any electoral reform,” she said grimly.

Ambiga confirmed that she, as well as other Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee members, will be turning up at Parliament on November 11 when the PSC holds its first public hearing there.

‘Rakyat will rise’

Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) meanwhile has warned of the “largest mobilisation of rakyat” if polls are held before any reforms are in place.

In a press statement SAMM reminded the government of the rising power of the people as clearly seen in Middle East earlier this year.