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Thursday, April 26, 2012

BERSIH letter to MPs in Australia and around the world

Subject: Global Bersih letter to MPs in Aussie & around the world.. -

Here is a letter that Malaysians in Australia are sending to MPs across the country (Australia), drawing their attention to the situation at home, and suggesting how they may help in practical terms.....

It has been written like a template, so anybody or group in Global Bersih can convert the letter for use in your country or city - just make sure you replace the bits about Australia with your own details.

Hope you find it useful, and good luck with everything.

Peace, goodwill and Merdeka.



TO: (MP's name, designation etc.)
FROM: Global Bersih, an international group of Malaysians (see www.globalbersih.org)
22 April 2012

URGENT: MALAYSIA NEEDS YOUR HELP

MALAYSIANS and friends of Malaysians in Australia call upon you as an elected representative to help us address what is perhaps the most democratically destructive development in Malaysia's history.

ISSUE
Malaysia imminently risks entering an era of tyranny as the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government, which has ruled uninterrupted for 55 years, prepares to call for federal elections that will be corruptly conducted to guarantee victory. An Election Commission (EC) constitutionally required to act without fear or favour to ensure fair and free elections has publicly shown itself as an instrument of state that works to further the government's electoral objectives.

Legislative reforms introduced and passed by the majority government on 19 April 2012 abolished the requirement for oversight by election candidates or their agents to independently verify the identity of voters before they enter polling booths to vote. The amendments have abolished the requirement that anyone who conceives of, manufactures and distributes election posters must be registered. Effectively, the reforms allow government, their agents and the EC full and exclusive freedom to register as many voters as they choose, determine the election process, conduct the election campaign, implement the poll and count the votes without question by candidates or independent observers.

BACKGROUND
In 2008 polls, the government's two-thirds majority was broken for the first time in 51 years by an Opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat (PR). That parliamentary majority had allowed BN to rewrite the Constitution at will. The next election, expected before June but legally required by April 2013, is a do-or-die scenario for BN, whose highest offices face allegations of corruption and criminality so devastating as to threaten their hold on power.

Independent inquiries and analysis of electoral rolls have uncovered these facts:

· Over 400,000 dubious voters are on the electoral roll, enough to swing 35 federal seats either way and decide if BN reclaims its two-thirds super-majority in parliament, or the Opposition PR becomes the government
· 31,294 voters have been transferred out of their 2008 constituencies without their consent
· 42,000 voters whose status as citizens cannot be verified by the National Registration Department are still on the roll
· The electoral rolls carry 65,543 voters who are 85 years of age and older, and 1000 voters aged more than 100 years
· 15,855 voters on the roll have identification card numbers showing they are of a different gender from that listed by the EC
· 4,500 voters who are spouses of police officers are registered as postal voters in breach of the law
· Up to 1,000,000 (one million) Malaysians living overseas cannot vote in general elections from their residential countries because of laws that contravene the Malaysian Constitution. These Malaysians who are denied their constitutional right to lodge their vote from overseas could make up 10 per cent of the electorate. The same laws that prevent these Malaysians from taking part in elections otherwise afford that basic democratic privilege for up to 240,000 other Malaysian citizens, who may be regarded as financially obliged to their government, such as soldiers, government scholars and civil service members, as well as their spouses. Up to 90 per cent of ballots cast through Malaysia's postal voting system is believed to support the incumbent government.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
In the 12th general election of 2008, Opposition coalition PR won the prized state of Selangor and wrested control of an economic and symbolic powerhouse in peninsular Malaysia; since 2008, the Selangor electoral rolls have ballooned by 22 per cent (over 340,000 voters) to more than 1.9 million, compared to a national average of 16.3 per cent.

Malaysia has refused access to international election-watch groups ever since the 1990 general election, when polling was observed by the Commonwealth Observer Mission, but the prime minister of that time, Mahathir Mohamed, suppressed their report.

MALAYSIANS SAY 'ENOUGH'
Bersih (which means 'clean'), a coalition of 84 civil society movements led by A. Samad Said, a revered national laureate, and Ambiga Sreenevasan, the former president of the Malaysian Bar, has called for a public sit-in this Saturday, April 28, in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, to protest the latest parliamentary reforms referred to here, and to raise the public's awareness of the dire consequences for democracy in Malaysia.

Bersih's previous rally in July 2011, which called for comprehensive reform of the electoral process, was attended by an estimated 50,000 Malaysians in Kuala Lumpur, who endured a violent crackdown by the state.

IMMEDIATE GLOBAL ACTION
This Saturday, 28 April 2012, Malaysians and their friends in 64 cities will rally in solidarity with Malaysians in Kuala Lumpur, who will again risk their personal safety, if not their lives, in the name of democracy, and fair and free elections.

HOW YOU MAY HELP
· We call upon you to draw the attention of your parliament to the dire situation that a global citizen such as Malaysia imminently faces.
· We ask that you offer election observers to attend and witness the coming elections in Malaysia.
· We ask that you reply this email with a message of support for our cause, which we will post on www.globalbersih.org
· We also invite you to join us at the April 28 rallies in this country, to show support for the cause and outline how your parliamentary office may practically help Malaysia.

The details of rallies across Australia are:

Brisbane - 1pm, Reddacliff Place
Sydney - 2pm, Martin Place
Canberra - 2pm, Parliament House Lawns
Melbourne - 2pm, St. Paul's Court, Federation Square
Hobart - 2pm, Parliament House
Adelaide - 2pm, Victoria Square
Perth - 2pm, Langley Park for a walk to the Malaysian Consulate General

Thank you very much.

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