Bersih to hold concert this Oct 13



By Clara Chooi
Assistant News Editor

September 27, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — From speeches and chants during street marches, election watchdog group Bersih 2.0 now plans to push its eight demands for electoral reform through song and dance at a concert this October 13.

The event, to be held from 6pm onwards at the Kelana Jaya Stadium, will also be a fundraiser to help the group finance its nationwide pre-election blitz to maintain the momentum from its April 28 city rally.


In a press statement here, Bersih 2.0 pointed out that five months have passed since the tumultuous event but since then, the government has purportedly failed to implement meaningful reforms to current electoral processes.


"It appears that the government is still unwilling to heed the voices of the people.


"The Bersih 2.0 eight demands and the 22 recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) report have yet to be fully implemented.


"Thus, Bersih 2.0 is organising a fun-filled concert... aimed at reminding the Election Commission (EC) that the eight demands remain unfulfilled," the group's steering committee said in the statement.


Headlining the show will be the likes of Blues performer Julian Mokhtar and the Gang, Soul Saviours (winners of Pesta Lagu Jalanan), punk band Dum Dum Tak, Canto rock singers Hui Se De and others, including Ito, Republic of Brickfields and Ray Cheong.


The polls watchdog group is also expected to release a "special song" during the show, which will see national laureate Bersih 2.0 co-chair Datuk A. Samad Said recite a poem to commemorate the occasion.


Bersih 2.0 had last month launched its RM1 fundraising campaign to help it raise some RM250,000 for the medical and legal expenses arising from its April 28 rally.


The coalition of over 82 non-governmental organisations had held its third rally for free and fair elections since 2007 on the streets of the capital on April 28, attracting tens of thousands to the city.


The "sit-in" protest, which was meant to be peaceful, however resulted in violence when protesters clashed with armed riot police after barricades surrounding the historic Merdeka Square were breached.


The police had erected the barricades and razor-wire fences to stop the group from using it for the rally.


Since the event, scores of reports have been lodged against the police, alleging brutality, while the government has had to fend off negative publicity for its alleged mishandling of the otherwise peaceful event.


Two legal suits have also been launched against Bersih 2.0 leaders, including one against 10 members for damages amounting to RM122,000 and another against co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenavasan and Maria Chin Abdullah, demanding compensation of RM351,203.45.


The group said today these actions were the government's way of "attacking" Bersih 2.0 instead of getting down to implementing its demands.


"Despite this, Bersih 2.0 has persisted in its efforts to raise awareness on the many instances of serious discrepancies in the electoral roll.


"Our work so far has been made possible because of the generous support of regular Malaysians who have donated to the cause.


"However, more needs to be done," it said.