Global Bersih’s Survey on Electoral Reforms on Overseas Voting

Global Bersih has been invited to provide feedback from Malaysians overseas for use by the Malaysian Electoral Reform Committee and the Malaysian Election Commission (or SPR) to reform the current voting procedure. They are working towards a better overseas voting system in time for the next general election (“GE15”).

Are you a Malaysian citizen currently living overseas and 16 years old or older?

If so, we want YOU to take part in this survey, the results of which will help design a trustworthy overseas voting process that will deliver a free and fair GE15 for the Malaysian diaspora.

It should take approximately only 15 minutes to complete. 

Click here to the survey form

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First Bersih NL Gathering for 2019

We had our first Bersih NL gathering in Utrecht on 19 Jan 2019. About 14 members and friends attended the event. Our members brought desserts and homemade cakes. As it was near Chinese New Year, we also had “yu sang” (Chinese salad) as a symbol of a better and prosperous new year!

Bala (Chairman of Global Bersih) and Nirmala (Secretary of Global Bersih) joined us via Skype and we discussed what Global Bersih is currently working on:

1. Raise fund for the Electoral Reform for Overseas Voting project. The aim is to be able to hire one person to be based in Kuala Lumpur for GB to work directly with EC and Bersih 2.0 on the overseas voting.

2. Perform survey on Electoral Reform – target to be sent out by end of the month

a) Look at the current survey form and suggest improvements

b) Collect as much information as possible via the survey

c) Follow-up actions after the survey

The meeting lasted about 3 hours and we all had fun, enjoyed the fellowship and delicious Malaysian “kuih”. We look forward to contribute to nation building for a better Malaysia!

Figure 1 – Sharing homemade food including “yu sang” and other cakes 

Figure 2 – Skype session with Bala and Nirmala

Figure 3 – First “family photo” of the year!

 

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Forum on Malaysia Baru in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Figure 1 : Prof Bridget Welsh speaking in our forum

Figure 2 : The audience listening tentatively to Prof. Bridget Welsh

Figure 3 : Our team and Bridget after the forum session

Bersih NL has once again successfully organized a forum about Malaysia Baru on 3 November 2018 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. We had the privilege to have YB Maria Chin (via Skype), Prof. Bridget Welsh and Dr Greg Lopez (via Skype) as our speakers and panel members. Prof. Welsh provided us her great analysis on what happened during the 14th Malaysian General Election (GE14) in May 2018, how the change of government happened and what forces and challenges the new government is facing post GE14. Critical take-away from her talk are:

  • Change is possible “one of the stories of the year”
  • Change of government, not “regime change”
  • ‘Minority victory’ dependent on East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak), “Malay deficit” in support within Malaysia as a whole
  • New coalition government, with problems inside this governing coalition source of instability
  • Elites within the system critical facilitators in actual transition on May 10, and they are continuing to pressure for “safe landings”
  • Shifts in voting behavior not about “race” but a combination of drivers including generation and class factors, new frameworks for understanding Malaysia needed

YB Maria Chin shared with us her focus as the new Member of Parliament (MP); which are the Reform Agenda and to address the issues of the people in urban slump (B40). Finally, YB Maria stressed that this is the time for Malaysian diaspora to join Global Bersih to make a pitch to the new Election Commission (EC) chairman and committee members on electoral reform as they are seen to be more open to change and align to the electoral reform proposed by Bersih 2.0.

Dr Greg Lopez has also shared his views. For example, on one of the questions from the audience, which is on the topic of “brain drain” among Malaysians. He mentioned that Malaysians are now more connected via the Internet that the knowledge sharing is now more wide spread globally among Malaysians living overseas.

We also had other NGOs like BothENDS (https://www.bothends.org/en/) and Global Bersih chapters (Bersih Scotland and Bersih Germany) joining us for this event.

Going forward, is for us to form small working groups where we can brainstorm on the areas for us to focus and research on, with the aim to produce proposals to help our new cabinet members and MPs to address the many pressing issues regarding electoral reforms, education, restoration of the forests, new alternative energy and waste management. If you would like to join us in this nation building effort, do email us at [email protected]

If you missed this session, you can still view the video recording: https://www.facebook.com/bersihnetherlands/videos/493770371121320/

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Professor Bridget Welsh will be in the Netherlands!

Professor Bridget Welsh has agreed to come and join us in the Netherlands for a talk and live forum with all Malaysians and NGOs. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Date : 3 Nov 2018
Time: 13:30-17:00
Venue : Nivon Rotterdam (Dirk Smitsstraat 76, 3031 XE Rotterdam)
Register in Facebook

Download poster (click)

Watch one of her famous lectures about Malaysia’s GE14

VIDEO: Bridget Welsh on Malaysia’s political transformation

Professor Bridget Welsh is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Asian Outreach at John Cabot University. She analyzes Southeast Asian politics, especially Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia and other countries in the region. In the aftermath of the stunning results of Malaysia’s 14th General Elections on May 9, JCU Associate Professor of Political Science and Malaysia expert Bridget Welsh is one of the lead commentators in international media. Her most recent books are entitled “End of UMNO Post GE14: Essays on Malaysia’s Former Dominant Party” (2018) and “Regime Resilence in Malaysia and Singapore” (co-edited with Greg Lopez, 2018).

Map to Nivon

 

Email us for more details : [email protected]

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Well done, Bersih NL for GE14!


Figure 1 – Photo of polling station in Sarikei, Sarawak


Figure 2 – Indelible ink (stays on your finger for months!)

1) SPONSORSHIP : Through the “Pulang Mengundi” campaign, we are proud of our Bersih Network Netherlands’ members and friends to have sponsored five students (first time voters) from Sabah and Sarawak to fly home to vote from their universities in West Malaysia. This is to encourage our young generations to exercise their rights to vote as citizens of Malaysia.

Figure 3 – Bersih NL members collecting ballots at Schipol Airport to be hand carried back to Malaysia by our runners

Figure 4 – Bersih NL’s efforts were featured in local newspaper “You were late, but we still made it!”

2. OVERSEAS’ VOTING BALLOTS : Another proud moment is that 27 ballots have been successfully transported back to their respective polling agents a day before the polling day by our runners from Germany! Thanks to the Undi Rabu runners also, who carried our ballots to Kuantan, Alor Setar and Johor Bharu. The rest of the ballots were passed to family members in the Klang Valley or to Penang and Bukit Mertajam. Our team was also featured in the local newspaper (China Press)! Kudos!

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The Borneo Case Screening and Live Forum in the Hague

The screening of The Borneo Case and Live Forum with Maria Chin Abdullah and Clare Rewcastle-Brown on 9 March 2018 was a success!  Thank you ISS for having us. We are very inspired by both Clare and Maria for their great efforts for a better Malaysia!

Thanks to all who helped. Hope this event has inspired you to remember Malaysia and the sacrifices of the activists who are speaking up against injustice, corruption and unpunished crimes in Malaysia.

Link to play the recording of the forum.

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Another political casualty in Malaysia

It is a sad day that we have another case where the ones who expose corruption are punished and the corrupt are still free and flourishing (Tan Sri’s and Datuk Sri’s). News on MP Rafizi Ramli and a bank clerk sentenced for 30 months jail: https://www.nst.com.my/news/crime-courts/2018/02/332922/rafizi-ramli-jailed-30-months-breaching-bafia-nsttv

We lost another good lawmaker in the next General Election as MP Rafizi Ramli is not able to stand for the election when he is in jail.

We would like to plead to those Malaysians who qualify to vote for the next GE14 (going to happen the next few months) to either go home to vote or to cast your vote via postal voting.

See below a sample of postal ballot released by Sinchew Daily:

Link to Sinchew’s article.

What you need to do as a Malaysian living overseas?

1. Check your status at https://pengundi.spr.gov.my/
2. If you are already registered as a Pengundi Tidak Hadir , then contact the embassy for information on voting . If not , you will have to register using Borang 1b – even if you have registered for the last election : http://www.spr.gov.my/sites/default/files/Syarat%20dan%20Borang%201B.pdf
3. After sending your Borang 1b – check your status online from time to Time to check for any updates on your status .
4. When the General Election is called, your ballots will be sent to your overseas address. You will have to send the ballots back to the officer in your constituency. ( instructions will be included)

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This is a write up of our recent Q&A session with Maria Chin Abdullah. You can access this news at Malaysia Insight. Please share with your friends and Family in Malaysia.
https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/36059/

Let us know if you have any questions at [email protected]

Salam Bersih!

Bersih Network Netherlands

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FILM SCREENING & LIVE FORUM

Date: 9 March 2018

Time:  Film Screening (13:30-14:30) Forum (14:30-15:45)

Venue: ISS (Aula B), Kortenaerkade 12, 2518 AX The Hague

The forum will discuss sensitive and pressing issues, for example how 90% of the Malaysian rainforests have been replaced by hydrodams and palm plantations to benefit a small group of elite politicians, the draconian measures introduced in the Security Offences Act 2012 (SOSMA) whereby detainees under the Act may be locked up for an unlimited period of time without trial and how $651 million ended up in the private account of the Malaysian Prime Minister just before the 2013 General Election

FORUM PANELISTS

Clare Rewcastle Brown (will be there in person) is a British investigative journalist. Born in the former British Crown Colony of Sarawak (currently part of Malaysia), she is the founder of Sarawak Report and Radio Free Sarawak which are openly critical of the Barisan Nasional-led state government of Sarawak. Following a series of exposés by Sarawak Report regarding the 1MDB scandal, an arrest warrant was issued by a Malaysian court in August 2015 for Rewcastle Brown. Interpol clarified that they had rejected the “Red Notice” application from Malaysia.

Maria Chin Abdullah (via Skype) is the Chairperson of the Malaysian anti-corruption movement Bersih, a coalition of NGOs advocating for reforms of the electoral system in Malaysia in order to ensure free and fair elections. Founded in 2006, the coalition has organised three rallies calling for a transparent electoral process and raising awareness of what they claim are flaws of the electoral system. Maria was detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) on the eve of the Bersih 5.0 rally. More than 15,000 protested on the streets of Kuala Lumpur.

The Borneo Case:

Documentary filmmakers Erik Pauser and Dylan Williams spent five years intimately following the trail of an unlikely group of activists whose aim is to investigate how profits from the illegal logging that has annihilated more than 90% of the Malaysian Borneo Rainforest have been money laundered into property portfolios all around the world.

A review in Sydsvenskan, one of Sweden s biggest newspapers said: The Borneo Case is a hair-raising thriller that brings to light crimes of an enormous scale and moral decadence, told through personal stories of friendship, love, revolution and engagement. Its main characters couldn´t have been better written in a fiction film.

Website: http://theborneocase.com/

Free Entrance! Seats are limited!

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/film-screening-and-live-forum-tickets-42613948467

Email us for more details: [email protected]

We also welcome donations:

Bersih Network Netherlands
IBAN: NL 53 SNSB 0928 3119 02

Instructions to get to the ISS can be found here.
The maps used in these instructions can also be downloaded in higher quality:

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BERSIH NETHERLANDS PRESS STATEMENT

23 JANUARY 2018

BERSIH NETHERLANDS URGES ELECTION COMMISSION (EC) NOT TO INTRODUCE POSTAL VOTING

In response to the announcement by Election Commission (EC) chief Mohd Hashim Abdullah about postal voting for Malaysians currently residing abroad, we urge the EC not to implement this postal voting facility. The EC chief stated that registered overseas Malaysians can now cast their vote in the GE14 via postal ballot papers which will be mailed to their overseas address. Pos Malaysia Berhad will fully manage the sending of the postal ballot papers, not the Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra).

This is a change in the previous arrangement for the 2013 General Elections: that Malaysians residing outside Malaysia register themselves as absent voters, collect their ballot papers, cast their vote and drop them off at their respective foreign commission offices. In the past, many have experienced unfortunate incidents: postal ballot papers either being misplaced or reaching their overseas address too late so that there was insufficient time to send them back to Malaysia. The instruction from the EC’s announcement is also vague because there is no mention of where postal voters should send their votes: to their respective constituencies in Malaysia or to the Wisma Putra? That the ballot papers will be managed by Pos Malaysia Berhad is regrettable because this increases the likelihood of fraud and other mishaps. Besides Wisma Putra is not taking the responsibility to ensure that there is no tampering of ballot papers sent through the mail.

Bersih Netherlands also supports an earlier press statement by Bersih Shanghai urging the Malaysian government to announce the general election date at least two months in advance, so that Malaysians residing overseas can make arrangements to fly back to Malaysia and perform their duty as a voter and loyal citizen. There are other countries that issue early notice, for instance the UK government announces the election date 8 weeks in advance.

The coming general election is widely speculated to be held in late March or early April.

Because many overseas Malaysians are employed fulltime or they are studying, they require sufficient notice to reschedule their commitments overseas, and book their flight in advance.

There are currently more than 70,000 Malaysians residing in Europe, with more than 63,000 of them are living in the UK. Malaysia is one of the leading countries with a high percentage of citizens living abroad, and the number is estimated to be in excess of one million.

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Bersih Netherlands Gathering

A small group of us gathered today in Dudok (Den Haag) to catch up with like-minded friends. This meeting was special because we to get to know new people we met from the movie screening in September. Among other things discussed are :

  1. Report on total donations collected so far from the charity movie event. It was agreed that some of the proceeds will be given to the movie maker and Global Bersih, and remaining will be used to cover our operational costs
  2. Proposal from Global Bersih on teleconferencing build up towards the GE14
  3. Demo of the progress of our Incident Reporting tool
  4. Planning for the next event

It is always energizing to exchange ideas!  Do come and join us for our next events. Email us at [email protected]

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