Economic Ripples of July’s Rally

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The effects of Bersih 2.0 can be felt beyond politics.

AS GLOBAL MARKET STOCKS rise and fall, bringing with them more financial uncertainty and a likely global slow down at least for the short term, it is important to examine how political conditions within Malaysia affect its economic performance. In the days before the July 9 Bersih rally calling for electoral reforms, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak claimed that the peaceful demonstration would negatively affect the economy by portraying Malaysia as unstable. By pointing to the Middle East, the premier tried to instil fear that Bersih would affect financial pocketbooks. In the demonisation of the rally’s organisers and the declaration of the illegality of Bersih, there was a clear appeal for Malaysians to oppose the Bersih movement on economic grounds.


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