Malaysian citizens in France call for a show of solidarity with participants in the BERSIH* campaign in Kuala Lumpur who will be gathering on the 28th of April in support of free and fair elections in Malaysia. BERSIH is a non-partisan, civil society campaign endorsed by over 60 Malaysian NGOs calling for immediate electoral reform in eight main areas:
1. Clean the electoral roll
2. Reform postal ballot
3. Use of indelible ink
4. Minimum 21 days campaign period
5. Free and fair access to media
6. Strengthen public institutions
7. Stop corruption
8. Stop dirty politics
100 000 people are expected on the streets of Kuala Lumpur and of other Malaysian cities. Events in support of BERSIH will place in more than 40 cities around the world**, all organized by citizens in their own names. These also call for a ninth point of electoral reform: suffrage for Malaysians residing abroad.
In 2007 and again in 2011, 50,000 people attended previous gatherings in Kuala Lumpur, which proceeded peacefully except for the ‘dispersion’ of participants by the police using tear gas and water cannons. In 2011, almost 2000 people were arrested in connection with BERSIH including for ‘wearing yellow T-shirts’, yellow being the BERSIH colour. The BERSIH campaign also aims to raise general awareness about the need for free and fair elections in Malaysia especially in view of the fact that national elections will be held later this year or early next year.
This gathering is co-sponsored by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). It will be preceded by a potluck picnic in the Jardins du Trocadéro starting at noon. Participants are encouraged to wear yellow and to bring a dish (halal if possible) to share at the picnic.
* ‘Bersih’ means ‘clean’ in Malay.
**in more than 15 countries including Australia, UK, Korea, USA, France, Japan, Switzerland, China …
Malaysian flag with Eiffel tower as background.
Rainy and cloudy day.
Metro station: Trocadéro (lines 6 and 9). Now I know that this Metro station offers good view of Eiffel tower from elevated area.