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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Clean vs. UnClean?

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"Bersih" is a Bahasa Malaysia word that means 'clean'. It is also the moniker that's been chosen by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections to identify themselves with.

The recent Sarawak state elections has shown that elections in Malaysia are sometimes not 'clean', nor 'fair'. We won't get into the details of the various allegations of impropriety that have been in the wake of that state election, but suffice it to say, that there are kinks within the system that allow for what can only be called "voter fraud" to occur.

And that what Bersih, now in its edition 2.0, aims to correct.

But there are those who oppose this coalition of NGOs. It is a reasonable assumption to make that if one opposes something that is Clean, one prefers the UnClean.

In this excellent write up by Kee Thuan Chye, this question is posed, and dissected: why is Perkasa against Bersih?

Amplify’d from

by Kee Thuan Chye

MANY people have come to regard Ibrahim Ali as a clown, including Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz. One hopes Ibrahim was just talking like a clown when he recently announced that his organization, Perkasa, would oppose the planned Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 by staging a counter-demonstration. “That means,” as he himself says, “on that day, there will be confrontation.”

This is militant talk. This is a threat to cause violence. And to add fuel to it, Ibrahim has pledge that in the event of a clash, “I will fight to the end”.

But why would Perkasa want to oppose the Bersih 2.0 rally? The rally has nothing to do with race – it is not demonstrating against Malay supremacy, which Perkasa was set up to defend. The rally is calling for electoral and institutional reform. It is calling for the electoral roll to be cleaned up, postal voting to be reformed, indelible ink to be used at elections, all political parties to be given free and fair access to the media, automatic voter registration, a minimum of 21 days for the campaign period, the strengthening of public institutions, a stop to corruption, and a stop to dirty politics.
Is Perkasa against free and fair elections?