Bersih 3.0 to be held in May after being denied polls reforms by the Najib govt
Free and fair elections movement Bersih is expected to hold a third rally Bersih 3.0 in May, following the failure of a Parliamentary Select Committee to address public concerns as well as its refusal to adopt best-practices and recommended reforms.
"Most likely it will be held in May," a source told Malaysia Chronicle.
Just a day ago, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali denounced the PSC as a "total failure", and filed a motion notice with the Parliament's Speaker to call for amendments to be made to the PSC's final report.
“This is so the Speaker can take note of our intention to amend the motion to be tabled on the PSC report, to attach a minority report to it,” Azmin had said.
On July 9, 2011, Bersih 2.0 had held a landmark Walk for Democracy,triumphing despite a slew of obstacles and unprecedented police crackdowns ordered by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
So fearful of the call for his Umno-BN government to clean up the election process, which includes a biased Election Commission, phantom voters, extensive gerrymandering and a highly dubious electoral roll which Najib himself has refused to allow to be independently audited, that the PM even banned the wearing of yellow Bersih T-shirts.
Najib also prosecuted six Parti Socialis Malaysia members including Sungei Siput MP Michael Jeyaraj for allegedly being Communists and plotting with foreign powers to overthrow the BN government.
Despite a lock-down of the Kuala Lumpur city centre, the spirit of the Malaysian people rose above their government's intimidation. More than 50,000 Malaysians stunned the world with their determination. The picture of the protesters sitting down in the middle of the road in a show down with armed police personnel, refusing to budge despite being showered repeatedly with acid water made the front pages of newspapers all around the world.
The Najib administration was condemned far and wide for turning on its citizens, receiving rebukes from international NGOs, the UN human rights commission and the US State Department. Even the Queen of England made known her empathy for the Bersih demonstrators by donning their signature yellow when she received Najib during an official visit soon after the protest.
The Bersih 2.0 was also a major focal point for overseas Malaysians, who held small rallies in their respective host countries. How will Bersih 3.0 turn out is anyone's guess, but it is unlikely that Najib will dare to make the same foolish mistakes again.
For Malaysians, Bersih 2.0 was just like the March 8, 2008 general election - a watershed event. Something in the Malaysian psyche snapped. Fed up of 55 years of corrupt rule by the BN, the only government they have known since independence from the British colonialists, Malaysians demanded change. They wanted reforms.
It is a certainty that come what may in the 13th general election, widely forecast to be held later this year, Malaysians will continue to express this wish for change and reform at the ballot boxes.
The GE-13, in which the Pakatan Rakyat led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has more than an even chance of winning, is therefore expected to be the dirtiest and the most hotly-contested ever.
Pundits say this is precisely why Bersih 3.0 must be held so as to raise public awareness that widespread cheating by an incumbent government will prevent the people's wishes from being accurately recorded and fulfilled.