Bersih 2.0 A Desire For Democracy


The events surrounding the big rally held in Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere on July 9, 2011 exposed many things. The use of force by the police and the hard stand taken by the federal government left many stunned. However, the widespread support for this huge effort by civil society to reform the electoral system revealed a Malaysia transcending inherited boundaries of race, religion, gender… and fear.

THOESE WHO PARTICIPATED IN, or followed developments leading to the gathering organised by Bersih 2.0 on July 9, 2011 must have come out of it with mixed feelings. On the one hand, they would certainly have been impressed and motivated by the conviction of Malaysians for clean and fair elections (the main and perhaps only agenda of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, popularly known as Bersih, the main organiser of the gathering).

They must have been equally encouraged by their bravery, for despite repeated threats and actual acts of violence by state elites, they turned up in large numbers on the scheduled day and date.

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