Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah questioned today why the ethnic Chinese dominance of the Bersih 4 rally should be seen as a problem.
She acknowledged that the overnight rally held in August last year consisted of a Chinese majority, but stressed that there were also Malays and participants from other races.
“So what if more of one race ― aren’t Malaysians allowed to speak?” Chin said on her Facebook page.
She elaborated on the impact of the electoral reform group’s four previous demonstrations that were among the biggest in Malaysia’s recent history, drawing thousands to the streets.
According to Chin, the inaugural Bersih rally in 2007, though led by political parties, subsequently led to Barisan Nasional (BN) losing its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority in 2008.
“(Maybe painful for some but that’s a fact & a victory for the people). It gave all of us hope,” she said.
The Bersih 2.0 and 3.0 rallies had changed the Election Commission’s (EC) response and the government, she said.
“We had the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform, indelible ink, 83 per cent turnout of voters, reduced the majority of BN even further and broke the fear factor as well as challenged the race politics.
“For the first time we are together when we carry out our street protests ― not as a race but as Malaysians,” said the polls reform activist.
Chin urged Malaysians to turn their anger and frustration into “more dynamic voices and actions”, saying that the ongoing Bersih nationwide convoy ahead of the Bersih 5 rally on November 19 were meant to do that.
“I sincerely hope that everyone will come on board and it is only when we show our numbers will our voices be heard collectively.
“And remember we are making our voices heard because we want institutional reforms and clean and fair elections. Anyone who belittle us ― we have to question them. Are they against our demands?” she said.
Chin. who recently received graphic death threats and whose son’s car was splashed with red paint at her house, urged people not to be intimidated by the violent Red Shirts movement.
“They are meant to do that and if you watch the videos – the thugs are paid,” she said, accusing Umno of funding the Red Shirts who have been aggressively disrupting the Bersih convoy.
“We have come so far in fighting for our future. Let us not do that ― our bravery is not singular but collective,” she said.
Source : The Malay Mail Online