Can Bersih win Malay hearts, asks S’pore paper


Straits Times commentary says day trip to attend Bersih rally will be costly for the poor rural Malay

(FMT) – A commentary in the Straits Times newspaper has cautioned the reform group Bersih that the need to win over voters in the Malay heartland was greater than a symbolic presence of Malay participants at Bersih street rallies.

Shannon Teoh, the Singapore newspaper’s bureau chief in Kuala Lumpur said Bersih hoped to overcome accusation of being anti-Malay by holding a seven-week campaign of ceramahs in the rural heartlands from Oct 1.

The reform group hopes to hold a street rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 19 to further press its demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Teoh wrote that “whether rural Malays will be convinced enough to take part” would depend on “more than just a few speeches by yellow T-shirted Bersih activists”.

Bersih’s massive street rally last year gave rise to accusations of being a Chinese-dominated affair, after Pakatan Rakyat broke up, causing PAS to hold back support and “its obedient and well-drilled party machinery”,