The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections or Bersih 2.0 is a coalition of several NGOs and civil society groups calling for electoral reform in Malaysia. It was initially made up of representatives from Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Women's Development Collective (WDC) and Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI), and led by former Bar Council president Datuk S. Ambiga. It is now led by WDC's Maria Chin Abdullah.
Bersih 5.0 is the fourth rally to be organised by Bersih within a span of nine years.
The first rally was held on Nov 10, 2007; the second 'Walk for Democracy' on July 9, 2011, the third, dubbed the 'Sit In' rally, was held on April 28, 2012 and Bersih 4 was held on August 29.
Bersih 5’s five demands are:
- Clean elections
- Clean government
- Strengthen parliamentary democracy
- Right to dissent
- Empowering Sabah and Sarawak
2. WHAT IS THE BERSIH CONVOY?
The BERSIH 5 Convoy started on October 1 and ran every weekend until the BERSIH 5 rally on November 19.
Its objective is to raise awareness about B5’s demands for institutional reforms and the severity of the 1MDB crisis.
The Bersih Convoy covered an estimate of 246 cities, towns, and villages across peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak.
3. WHEN AND WHERE IS BERSIH 5?
The Bersih 5 is scheduled to take place on November 19, at Dataran Merdeka.
4. WHAT THE AUTHORITIES SAY
Bersih 5.0 yet to fullfill rally prerequisites - IGP
Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday (8 November 2016): The Bersih 5.0 group has yet to fulfill the prerequisites to organise any gathering on Nov 19, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said.
The Inspector-General of Police said the officers-in-charge of Dang Wangi and Brickfields police headquarters did receive notices from the organiser but both notices failed to comply with the prerequisites of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012.
"Among others, both notices stated Dataran Merdeka as the venue for the assembly, but no consent letter from the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur was produced as required under Section 10 (C) and Section 11 of the PAA 2012," he said in a statement.
Find another location or face stern action - KPN
Petaling Jaya, Thursday (3 November 2016): Police will take action based on the law against those who hold an assembly in a place without permission from the authorities.
Police chief Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said that the Yellow Shirts and the Red Shirts protestors need to get the permission from the venue even though both parties have submitted a notice to the police.
Police receive 198 reports in protest of Bersih 5.0 convoy
Port Dickson, Wednesday (3 November 2016): Police have received 198 reports from individuals and groups in protest of the Bersih 5.0 convoy scheduled for eight days starting this Saturday.
Negeri Sembilan police chief, Datuk Jaafar Mohd Yusof said yesterday, the convoy plans to tour eight districts in the state starting at Tampin and ending at Nilai on Nov 12.
Bersih 5.0, Red Shirts barred from holding gatherings - Zahid
Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday (2 November 2016): The government warned that Bersih 5.0 and the Red Shirts group are disallowed from holding any gatherings and they will have to face the law if they do so.
Deputy Prime Minister who is also Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the government made the decision because it did not want a clash between the two groups.
Ahmad Zahid said the venue of the gathering for which notice was given by Bersih or the Yellow Shirts group was on the prohibited list of venues in the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 despite the notice having been given 10 days prior to the event.
Bersih organisers disregard rules to gain world attention - IGP
Melaka, Friday (28 October 2016): The organisers of Bersih 5.0 deliberately do not follow the rules under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 because they want to attract world attention, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
He said this way, the organisers want to show the world that the local authorities here are supposedly restricting the rights of the people to speech and assembly.
"My advice is to follow the rules under the Act, why is that so difficult. They like it if we use the FRU (Federal Reserve Unit) to bring out the water cannons, they like it that way.
"Our country has laws, it is not a 'cowboy' state...if they (the organisers) stick to their decision to break the law, then be ready to face the consequences," he told a press conference held here today.
5. WHAT BERSIH 2.0 SAYS
Bersih's Maria Chin keeps mum over allegation of foreign funding
Kuala Lumpur, Friday (4 November 2016): Any statement regarding hedge fund billionaire George Soros' Open Society Foundation (OSF) will only be given in court, said Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah.
Maria was brought in for questioning by police on Friday after reports were made on DC Leaks, alleging that Soros was funding several local organisations through OSF.
She said investigations are under Section 124C of the Penal Code, in relation to the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).