‘Aunty Bersih’ and Baharuddin’s widow takes on Bersih 2.0’s cause

(The Malaysian Insider) – Annie Ooi or better known as “Aunty Bersih” and Rosni Malan, the wife of the sole Bersih 2.0 protestor who had died, have teamed up to take the election watchdog’s cause to the fore and are determined to ensure all its eight electoral reform demands are met before the polls, “or else”.


The duo, claiming to be completely independent, held a press conference today to launch a petition to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, pleading that the Ruler invoke his constitutional powers and block any attempt by Datuk Seri Najib Razak to call for snap polls before the reforms are in place.

“I am here for the rakyat,” Ooi declared to reporters when asked who she was representing.

In the petition, Ooi and the widowed Rosni said although Najib had mooted the parliamentary select committee (PSC) to look into electoral reforms, the prime minister had, through statements made publicly, hinted that polls could be called before the panel completes its work.

They pointed to the latest pledge by “a group of Malaysians” who, on November 3, said they would mount another street gathering to prevent any election from taking place.

The “toppling of the present ruling government could not be ruled out”, the petition warned.

As such, the petition urged the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to invoke his powers under Article 40(2)(b) of the Federal Constitution which states he has the absolute discretion to withhold consent to a request by the prime minister to dissolve Parliament.

The petition said consent should be withheld if Najib attempts to call for polls: before the PSC completes its work; before all recommendations by PSC are passed in Parliament and fully implemented and; before Malaysians are convinced that the election system is free and fair.

“Now, more than ever before, His Majesty must act in the best interests of the rakyat and the nation,” Ooi wrote in a separate press statement.

“We believe the demand is reasonable… and the petition will further strengthen the respectability and position of His Majesty,” Rosni wrote in hers.

Ooi and Rosni’s husband, Baharuddin Ahmad, emerged as icons after the tumultuous rally on July 9 which saw tens of thousands take to the streets of the capital in a march for free and fair elections.