Bersih 2.0 9 July 2011 march drew thousands of Malaysians onto Kuala Lumpur’s streets to call for clean and fair elections. But according to Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders, the government-controlled press and the authorities, that’s not what the march was really about. In the aftermath of the Bersih march, The Nut Graph summarises some of the more popular theories by Bersih’s detractors of why it actually organised the march.
The job of the Election Commission is to conduct elections fairly and act as an impartial referee. It has no business to tilt the playing field in favour of any party. In Malaysia elections have never been free and fair and this has allowed one regime to rule for more than 50 years without any fear of losing power. It has created a pseudo-democracy with endemic corruption from the top down, subjugation of all the institutions of democracy to serve the regime and abuse of democratic rights. The EC is largely responsible for this sordid state of affairs by subverting the right of Malaysians to choose their own government and kick out a corrupt one.
There are many ways which the EC has colluded with BN or not acted against abuses such as gerrymandering, postal votes, phantom votes, inducting illegal aliens as voters, unfair access to media, short campaign period, improper use of government machinery, money politics, dirty politics, disenfranchising overseas Malaysians, etc. It may take years and a change of government to clean all these up but the 13th general election is approaching and there is not much time left.