Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bersih calls for 'Yellow Saturdays'

Joseph Sipalan
Jul 12, 11
1:46pm
Malaysiakini


The Bersih 2.0 steering committee has called for 'Yellow Saturdays' as a show of continued support for the movement's eight demands for electoral reform.

penang bersih 3.0 rally participant with yellow shirtBersih 2.0 chief S Ambiga called on all Malaysians to wear something yellow every Saturday as a peaceful show of support for the demands.

"Until such reforms are made, we ask the rakyat to wear yellow every Saturday. It doesn't matter if it is a shirt or anything ...," she told a press conference.

Ambiga said despite the “overwhelming” public support for Saturday's rally, there still remains the task of pushing forward the eight demands outlined in Bersih 2.0's memorandum for free and fair elections.

She said the committee is now looking at taking a multi-pronged approach to further their cause, including to push for a royal commission of inquiry to look into the various complaints against and to overhaul the current electoral system.

NONE“The work of Bersih 2.0 continues, and the best way forward is to have a royal commission of inquiry, which should consist of experts who are acceptable to the rakyat... at least look at the eight demands before the 13th general election. There is no point if it is done after (the election).”

In the meantime, Ambiga said her committee hopes the Election Commission will make a public disclosure of its various amendments to the nation's electoral system proposed to the government, and give the reasons why the proposals were rejected.

'Bersih 2.0 and EC should debate'

Ambiga also urged the EC to consider holding a televised dialogue with Bersih 2.0, where they would also field questions from the audience.

“We are prepared to publicly debate with anyone. That's (debates) healthy and we are happy to do that,” she said.

The Bersih 2.0 chief admitted that they have doubts over the EC's preparedness to have a frank and public discussion, especially after the latest salvo from EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, who accused the movement of being an opposition tool in an article carried by Berita Harian today.

Ambiga however stressed that this is all the more reason for the EC to publicly disclose its proposed amendments and hold a public dialogue with Bersih 2.0 to prove they still command public confidence.

“There are serious concerns as to the true independence of the EC. The Agong appoints persons the the EC who enjoy public confidence. The issue of public confidence is very important,” she said.

Ambiga, meanwhile, said they are still in the midst of securing an audience with the Agong to submit their eight-point memorandum on electoral reforms, but declined to give any more details on the issue.

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