KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 ― Election watchdog Bersih 2.0 today refuted accusations that the non-governmental organisation favours the former ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration when compared to Barisan Nasional (BN).
In a press statement today, its steering committee gave multiple examples of criticizing PH during by-elections, for accepting party hopping as well as criticising PH ministers including former finance minister Lim Guan Eng and former education minister Maszlee Malik.
The first of the four examples given by Bersih 2.0 touched on by-elections and the allegations that they did not criticise the government for electoral offences.
It gave evidence that many of its press statements were carried by multiple news organisations during the Tanjung Piai by-election, in which Bersih slammed Warisan during the Kimanis and Sandakan by-elections for using government resources in campaigns.
Bersih had also lodged police reports against PH and BN during the Semenyih by-elections.
In total the press release included eight news articles and media statements from various news organisations such as Astro Awani and The Malaysian Insight among others that covered the group during the various by-elections.
On party hopping, Bersih 2.0 reaffirmed its stance that MPs who cross the floors are traitors to the people’s mandate and strongly condemns the action.
“Early on Bersih have warned PH not to accept the political frogs who can threaten Malaysia’s democracy. Bersih 2.0 believes those that have hopped parties should resign.
“When the backdoor crisis happened, Bersih 2.0 and other civil organisations had once again issued a statement condemning the culprits. We demanded that those who had abandoned PH to resign because they have betrayed the people’s mandate,” said the statement.
The watchdog also denied disrespecting the Yang di Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, saying that it has never issued any statements condemning the King but instead had issued statements respecting the royal institution.
Regarding the accusations that it favours PH over BN, the steering committee also gave several examples of press statements issued in the past where it had criticised and condemned PH ministers such as Maszlee Malik when he had prohibited opposition lawmakers from entering school grounds.