KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17, 2015:
Bersih 2.0 has taken full responsibility for the shortcomings and certain incidents that took place during its latest rally last month.
Acknowledging the existence of inadequate equipment and security, crowd and traffic control, the electoral watchdog said it was clear that there was much room for improvement.
The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections also welcomed constructive criticisms and suggestions for improvement.
“Two legitimate concerns raised after the Bersih 4 rally were the remote locations of mobile toilets and the poor sound system on our mobile trucks, especially on Saturday afternoon.
“We recognised such issues in our planning but could not opt for better alternatives in anticipation of possible police action as in the first three Bersih rallies.
“We had to take into consideration both the feasibility of the most ideal physical deployment as well as the cost of confiscation and destruction in the event of a police crackdown.
“We hope the public will understand our constraints in logistics and not misread this explanation as our inability to accept criticism or denial of shortcomings,” Bersih 2.0’s steering committee said in a statement today.
At the same time, they also chided the cyber-bullying experienced by volunteers and supporters whom they described as having “demonstrated exemplary patriotism”.
The targets of the bullying particularly involved Chinese-speaking Facebook users, the statement added.
“Such cyber-bullying ranged from mocking promotional posters by amateur volunteers to maligning and demeaning some Bersih supporters’ characters and professional credentials.
“Bersih 4 would not have been possible if not for the selfless contributions of thousands of activists and volunteers. They are the unsung heroes to whom any credit for Bersih rallies must first go to.”
The Bersih 4.0 rally that took place on Aug 29 to 30 saw participation of some 300,000 Malaysians.
The 34-hour-long rally made five demands, which were free and fair elections, a transparent government, the right to demonstrate, strengthening the parliamentary democracy system and saving the national economy.