KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22, 2015:
Gerakan has called on Bersih 2.0 to explain to Malaysians how the electoral watchdog planned to spend the RM1.2 million they managed to collect recently.
The party’s Youth chief Tan Keng Liang said this after expressing the youth wing’s support for the government’s initiative in studying new laws to govern political funding. “This is the right way for transparency. Everyone will then know where the money came from and how it is used,” Tan said of the initiative.
“Bersih claimed recently they managed to get more than RM1 million in donations and proceeds from T-shirt sales.
“I don’t think asking people to go to street demonstrations you need one million (ringgit). Maybe you can use RM50,000 to go and rent a stadium, give them free drinks, but not one million (ringgit).
“So on the same note, we would like to ask, since there is no law at this moment, Bersih can you take the lead (and) tell us where you are using the RM1 million. Where is it heading?
“It’s not a small sum. Its not in the billions, but still needs to be accountable. I think this is important that Bersih needs to answer since they preach transparency,” Tan told reporters at a press conference at the party’s headquarters today.
Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah was reported to have said that the coalition for free and fair elections managed to collect RM1.2 million in 10 days from T-shirt sales and donations.
She said the amount was more than expected and was far more than the group managed to collect than the Bersih 3.0 rally in 2012.
At the same time, Tan also urged for Bersih to move their planned demonstration next weekend to a stadium, saying it was not appropriate to have it at Dataran Merdeka.
He said because it coincided with Malaysia’s Independence Day festivities and “spirit”, it was also the wrong time to have the demonstration as it could cause chaos.
“Do it in a stadium. We are supportive if people are gathering peacefully, but not supportive of a gathering that has huge risks,” he added.