Bersih 5 launched in the Netherlands and Germany. Passing the torch to the rest of Europe!
We had the privilege to receive guests from Bersih 2.0 on 16-18 September 2016. Manager Mandeep Singh and Advocacy Coodinator Zoe, fulltime staff of the Bersih 2.0 Secretariat, met with Bersih NL members in The Hague. Mandeep and Zoe were stopping by the Netherlands after attending an international conference in Brussels, and they were on their way to meet up with Bersih members and NGOs in London.
We discussed current issues and incidents in Malaysia, including the abuse of power by the current federal government and Bersih 5’s demands. The Bersih 5 rally will be held in Kuala Lumpur on 19 November 2016.
Prior to the rally, a Bersih Convoy will tour the country, departing from Kangar (Perlis), Johor Bahru (Johor), Kota Bharu (Kelantan), Lumut (Perak), Sandakan (Sabah) and Miri (Sarawak) on 1 October 2016. The convoy will traverse the nation and spend 7 weeks travelling to 246 cities, towns and villages across the country to raise awareness about Bersih 5 and its demands for institutional reforms and to impress upon all Malaysians the severity of the 1MDB crisis.
The demands for Bersih 5 are:
1. Clean elections
2. Clean government
3. Strengthen parliamentary democracy
4. Right to dissent
5. Empowering Sabah and Sarawak
We appeal to all Bersih NL supporters to donate generously to our preparations for Bersih 5 (IBAN: NL 53 SNSB 0928 3119 02). Those who donate €25 or more will receive a Bersih NL t-shirt which may be collected on 19 September or posted on request.
Special offer! One Bersih 5 t-shirt with Maria Chin Abdullah’s signature is up for grabs to the highest bidder! Come on, make a bid and email it to [email protected].
Bersih Netherlands had our summer Bbq picnic in the Westbroekpark, The Hague on 26 June 2016. It was great to see our friends and supporters once again and to catch up on how is everyone doing. The weather was excellent with great sunshine! Everyone brought some food and drinks to share. After satisfying our bodies with delicious food, Bersih Netherlands committee members shared about our newly setup Bersih Netherlands Network as a non governmental organization under the Dutch law. The idea of setting up the Bersih Netherlands Network is to bring like-minded Malaysians living in the Netherlands together to raise awareness on the social, economical and political climate in Malaysia. With the new NGO (Stichting) registered, we are able to have our own bank account and all collections and spendings are done transparently as it is the requirement for NGOs in the Netherlands to publish the financial overview annually. With all the administrative work done, we are now ready to organize activities under the umbrella of the new stichting.
Among the items discussed were:-
1. Infrastructure to help activists for their publication work and other pemantau incidents reporting
2. Preparation for next GE14 : we need to compile / help Global Bersih to compile a proper brochure to guide overseas Malaysians on the voting process.
3. Approaching organizations in NL to discuss how they can work with Bersih NL and Global Bersih to promote clean and fair elections. Need to further explore and discuss in forum.
4. We have created a Bersih NL forum. We would encourage all of you to register online and start to utilize this forum.
5. Work together with Global Bersih in Geneva to achieve the same goals (the demands of Bersih 4 – Free and Fair Elections, A Clean Government, The Right to Dissent
Strengthening the Parliamentary Democracy, Saving the Economy of Malaysia)
The picnic ended with some action items agreed for us to move forward. We feel every overseas Malaysians has the responsibility to contribute in anyway they could for Malaysia to have clean and fair elections. If you are Malaysian and staying in the Netherlands, we would like to connect with you and to hear your point of view. Do contact us : email@example.com
Congrats to Bersih 2.0 team and all!
This is indeed a very meaningful award. Gwanju has a big significance in Korean history. Gwangju Uprising,@ May 18 Democratic Uprising @ Gwangju Democratization Movement, refers to a popular uprising in the city of Gwangju, South Korea  from May 18 to 27, 1980. Estimates suggest up to 606 people may have died. During this period, Gwangju citizens took up arms (by robbing local armories and police stations) when local Jeonnam University  students – who were demonstrating against the Chun Doo-hwan government – were fired upon, killed, and beaten in an unprecedented attack by government troops. Our struggle is far from over!
The eleventh Sarawak state election will be held on Saturday, 7 May 2016 after nomination for candidates on Monday, 25 April. The 82 members of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, will be elected in single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post voting. More than 1.1 million who have their names entered or retained in an electoral register for a particular electoral district in Sarawak are eligible to vote at the time of the election. Malaysia does not practice compulsory voting and automatic voter registration. The voting age is 21 although the age of majority in the country is 18. The election will conducted by the Election Commission of Malaysia.
In 2015, there were 11 new constituencies created in Sarawak for the coming State Election.
New state constituencies
N13 Batu Kitang (Under P196 Stampin)
N17 Stakan (Under P197 Kota Samarahan)
N18 Serembu (Under P198 Puncak Borneo)
N23 Bukit Semuja (Under P199 Serian)
N26 Gedong (Under P200 Batang Sadong)
N40 Kabong (Under P205 Saratok)
N57 Tellian (Under P213 Mukah)
N63 Bukit Goram (Under P215 Kapit)
N66 Murum (Under P216 Hulu Rajang)
N70 Samalaju (Under P217 Bintulu)
N78 Mulu (Under P20 Baram)
In Jan 2016, it was reported by MERAP (http://www.bersih.org/merap-analysis-reveals-shocking-results-on-sarawak-delineation/) that 9 out 11 new seats are in favour of BN. On other news, seats of Bukit Kota and Bukit Sari where Lawas and Limbang are located are won by BN uncontested.
With these information, we did our own analysis on publicly available data and put them on maps. After that, we did our own analysis to find out if that is indeed the case that BN will win more seats because of the re-delineation.
Figure 1 – shows a comparison between BN (Barisan National) ruled areas versus PR (Pakatan Rakyat). BN (Blue) / PR (Yellow)
The Red lines show the boundaries of the state constituencies before the re-delineation exercise where as the Black lines show the boundaries of the state constituencies after the re-delineation exercise.
It seems like there is an attempt to split the PR supporting area in Bekenu to smaller areas.
Figure 2 – Enlargement of the Bekenu state constituency to emphasize the change in boundaries from the re-delineation exercise
If we calculate the BN/PR ratio for these voting districts, they area breaking the already weak PR supporting area (0.81 BN/PR ratio).
Figure 3 – BN/PR Voting Ratio for the area of Bekenu
In Samalaju (new state constituency) the new boundaries showed that the BN supporting area has been increased – an attempt to convert this area to BN majority area? This area was a Chinese majority area before the re-delineation (showed in the pie chart in Figure 1 above).
Figure 4 – Enlargement of the Samalaju state constituency to emphasize the change in boundaries from the re-delineation exercise
Figure 5 – BN/PR Voting Ratio for the area of Samalaju
From Figure 5 above, the PR supporting area in Samalaju was already having a weak / border-line voters’ support (0.9 BN/PR Voting Ratio). With the new boundaries, it was obvious that PR weight of influence in this area will be further weakened.
In Murum (new state constituency), the new boundaries showed that the BN supporting area has been increased – an attempt to convert this area to BN majority area? This area is an Orang Ulu majority area with 7648 registered voters.
Figure 6 – Enlargement of the Murum state constituencyto emphasize the change in boundaries from the re-delineation exercise
Figure 7 – BN/PR Voting Ratio for the area of Murum (the new state constituency will reflect a stronger BN support constituency after the construct)
In Mulu (new state constituency), the new boundaries brought in highly BN supporting area into this new state constituency (1 – in the map below). This area is an Orang Ulu majority area with 8048 registered voters. The Telang Usan Area sees a split of a high PR supporting area to two (2 – in the map below).
Figure 8 – Enlargement of the Mulu and Telang Usan state constituencies to emphasize the change in boundaries from the re-delineation exercise
Figure 9 – BN/PR Voting Ratio for the area of Mulu / Telang Usan (the state constituencies will result in stronger BN support constituencies after the re-delineation process)
We have listed only a few of the observations from the 2015 re-delineation of the Sarawak State voting boundaries. Thus, this proved that the claim by MERAP that there is indeed a strong tendency of creating more advantages to the current ruling government to win the next State Election with a bigger majority, with the latest sentiments of the 1MDB scandals and strong discontent of the Rakyat with our current Prime Minister and other power abuse issues, we might still see more areas moving towards supporting the opposition parties. Nevertheless, we still feel that it is still a long way for Sarawak to give up BN ruling in the coming State Election.
Sarawak State Election 2016 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarawak_state_election,_2016
Tindak Malaysia – http://www.tindakmalaysia.org/
Danesh Chacko – http://daneshatlas.blogspot.nl/2016/04/mapping-elections-malaysian-style.html
The interactive map can be viewed in full here. The creation of this map was made possible was possible with input from Tindak Malaysia and Mapping your way.
The eleventh Sarawak state election will be held on Saturday, 7 May 2016 after nomination for candidates on Monday, 25 April. The 82 members of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, will be elected in single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post voting. More than 1.1 million who have their names entered or retained in an electoral register for a particular electoral district in Sarawak are eligible to vote at the time of the election.
BERSIH and local NGOs in Sarawak are working together to set up the PEMANTAU team to monitor the upcoming Sarawak state election.
PEMANTAU refers to the monitoring of elections. It is an important process to ensure that the Sarawak state election is carried out in a fair and clean manner. Through monitoring, citizens become observers that prevent and whistle blow on fraud or electoral offences such as bribery, misuse of power, and disturbance towards the electoral process.
PEMANTAU Sarawak has identified five key DUNs to monitor, i.e.:
(1) N02. Tasik Biru (Bau/Tondong/Serikin)
(2) N13. Batu Kitang (Kuching/Arang/Kitang)
(3) N53. Bawang Assan (Sibu/Rassau)
(4) N75. Senadin (Miri/Kuala Baram/Riam)
(5) N77. Telang Usan (Long Lama/Long San/Miri)
Come and join the Bersih team to be an observer. Register at Bersih 2.0 site: http://www.bersih.org/pemantausarawak/
Bersih NL is now an official Stichting (NGO) registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce! KvK nr.: 65254724
Reaching this milestone also means we now have expenses coming in and we need your support to keep us going!
Please donate by going to this page.
For donations above € 50, we will send you a Bersih NL t-shirt!
Global Bersih February 2016 newsletter is now ready for download. FEBRUARY 2016 E
Bersih NL organized another gathering on 21 February 2016 in Utrecht to celebrate Chinese New Year. We were also privileged to have Global Bersih visitors who flew in from Geneva: Mr Bala Chelliah and his wife, Sharnti. The event was attended by 18 members, guests and friends of Bersih NL.
It was a potluck lunch and in true Malaysian spirit, everyone brought delicious home-cooked food and desserts to share, ranging from yu sang to apom balik. It was truly a feast of Malaysian delicacies and makan – something close to every Malaysian’s heart, especially those living overseas who miss such food.
Amidst the amiable atmosphere and fellowship, everyone got to know one another and caught up with events and developments in Malaysia and what Bersih 2.0 is currently doing.
After dessert, Bala gave a short briefing on Global Bersih’s (GB) objectives and touched on Bersih NL’s own objectives which link us to the wider GB community. Basically, GB’s main objectives are to carry out outreach work with the Malaysian diaspora spread across the globe and international advocacy work. GB’s strategic location in Geneva is ideal for advocacy and lobbying with the UN High Commission for Human Rights and other international human rights organizations and NGOs based there, and to bring attention to political, social and economic issues in Malaysia and human rights violations. Bala emphasized that similar advocacy work is being carried by GB supporters in London, Paris, Washington, Sydney and New York and his hope is that each Bersih country organization will undertake similar advocacy work with the respective country’s Foreign Office/Ministry and international organizations based there. For example, Bersih NL can explore what advocacy work is possible with the International Human Rights Court based in The Hague or visit the Dutch Foreign Minsitry to explore what support they can provide for protecting human rights and advancing democratic practices in evolving democracies such as Malaysia.
In addition to his GB Secretary role, Bala carries out the above-mentioned activities in Geneva by working closely with SUARAM and Aliran and also acts as their Geneva representative to the UN High Commission for Human Rights.
Bala encouraged all overseas Malaysians to spread the word on Global Bersih’s goals and activities and connect with all overseas Malaysians and get them to contribute in any way they can (e.g. IT, media, design, photography, publicity, financial, etc.).
Bala’s concluding comment was that we overseas Malaysians can play an important role to suppport the movement for change in Malaysia, and that this will be achieved if each of us passionately believes in the Cause. But as a minimum, he implored all of us (and all Malaysians) to register to vote and suggested that we start putting some money aside to fly back to vote when the next elections are called.
An important milestone is the registration of Bersih Network Netherlands as an official stichting (NGO) in the Netherlands. We would like to encourage all like-minded Malaysians in the Netherlands to sign up as members to support our local Bersih activities. Here are some of the activities and programmes in the pipeline:
- Social activities to connect with like-minded Malaysians in the Netherlands
- Talks/seminars on democracy in Malaysia to create awareness and raise consciousness
- Sale of Bersih NL T-shirts to raise funds to cover expenses incurred
- Encourage all overseas Malaysians to register as voters
- Address all questions and concerns overseas Malaysians have about the Malaysian voting system and how to register as postal voters
- Discussions with local human rights organizations and government agencies on human rights issues faced by Malaysians in Malaysia
- Inquire about dates and locations where people can register as voters and communicate the information through available channels
If you have not signed up as a member of Bersih NL, we would like to connect with you. Do come forward and send us your contact details ([email protected]). Small steps make a big difference!
Help Radio Free Sarawak (RFS), the independent station which is dedicated to the concerns of the rainforest peoples of Borneo, continue to provide an alternative and independent source of news during the upcoming state election. RFS is the only independent platform where these forest dwellers, who are struggling against state-backed logging, land grabs and indigenous rights abuses can let their voice be heard.