The Bersih 5.0 demonstration for clean elections and against corruption in Malaysia made a huge splash on November 19 despite threats of serious repression. The night before the demonstration, at least 10 prominent figures (including key organisers of the rally) were arrested.
The Bersih (“Clean”) movement for free and fair elections in Malaysia is planning its fifth major mobilisation — dubbed “Bersih 5” — on November 19 despite attempts by authorities to ban the march and threats from the right-wing “Red Shirt” gang to attack the march.
Bersih 5 rallies and marches are also being organised by Malaysian democracy activists in more than 50 cities around the world.
Malaysian democracy activists estimate that between 300,000 and half a million people peacefully took to the streets of the capital Kuala Lumpur for 34 hours from August 29 to 30. This is much larger than the previous mobilisations by the BERSIH (literally meaning “clean”) movement for free and fair elections.
Bersih 3.0 mass protest for democracy in Kuala Lumpar, April 2012.
With photos by Lee Yu Kyung in Kuala Lumpur
Up to 120,000 people packed and overflowed a large stadium in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur on May 8 to protest the fraudulent re-election of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government on May 5.
The crowd defied a police threat to arrest all who attended the opposition-called rally. The police did not dare confront the huge crowd but, since the rally, the police have called in 28 rally speakers for questioning.
Footage from the 'Malaysian Spring': the inspiring 250,000-strong Bersih ('clean') rallies for free and fair elections in Malaysia PLUS from Australian support rallies in Melbourne (1200 people), Sydney (500) and Perth (400).
Also includes footage of the brutal police repression which saw 500 people arrested along with widespread use of water cannon and tear gas.
Justice for the Malaysian people - take the power back!
S. Arutchelvan, secretary general of the Socialist Party of Malaysia, is a veteran of many demonstrations. But the Bersih 3.0 mobilisation, which he estimates was between 100,000 and 150,000-strong, was the biggest he's been a part of in the country. “It was a huge success” he told Green Left Weekly, “and it terrified the Barisan Nasional [BN] government.
“The BN government sees Merdeka Square as its Tahrir Square. They do not want to see – and for the public and the world to see – images of it being occupied by democratic movement. It is their political survival.