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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah today announced that the fifth edition of the electoral watchdog’s street rally will be held on November 19.
She also announced that the group will conduct a roadshow across the country a month before the protest.
“Bersih 2.0 will launch a nationwide Bersih convoy on Saturday, 1 October 2016, which will culminate towards a Bersih 5 rally on Saturday, 19 November 2016,” she told reporters during a press conference today.
The convoy would be throughout the country including Sabah and Sarawak and would aim to “start a nationwide conversation” on the crises that Malaysia is facing.
“On Oct 1, Bersih will launch the Bersih convoy across the nation. The flag off will simulate would take place in 6 region and they are as follows Northern Peninsular (Kangar Perlis), Southern Peninsular (Johor Bahru, Johor), East Coast (Kota Bharu, Kelantan), West Coast (Lumut, Perak), Sabah (Sandakan) and Sarawak (Miri),” Maria said.
The convoy will feature “Bersih torches” that will be passed throughout the 246 stops planned.
Chin did not reveal further details on the rally itself, saying only that these will be finalised during the course of the tour.
“The roadshow comes from the idea of all the NGOs. All the NGOs have given us feedback with how to proceed with the demands
“It is very important that we get the message through. Emphasis is more on the convoy. Having this national conversation,” she added.
Bersih is demanding for reforms to become a national agenda, for the parliamentary democracy system to be strengthened, and for the prime minister to step down.
The campaign will use a theme that translates to “Combine our energy — New Malaysia”, with an open invitation for all political parties including Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia to participate.
Chin said participating groups were free to pursue their own causes so long as they agreed with Bersih 2.0’s demands and do not sabotage these.
“Other people may have other agenda, but we are unbiased and principled,” she said.
Bersih 2.0 has previously been accused of being biased towards the opposition, after opposition leaders were seen as co-opting the older editions.