KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim became the first prime minister to meet and discuss the implementation of reforms with the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) after six lawmakers received the memorandum during Bersih’s rally yesterday.

This afternoon, Bersih said it met the prime minister to discuss the 10 key matters that it said require urgent reform — to which he reportedly agreed to a few in principle, but indicated that other matters required further discussion.

“Bersih successfully gave the memorandum consisting of almost 30 pages and 10 appendices of detailed research papers regarding the suggestions that were a product of engagement sessions and Bersih’s studies from 2018 to strengthen the democratic transition in Malaysia,” its steering committee said in a statement.

“After 26 years of fighting for reform, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s administration has the golden opportunity to implement institutional reform that can leave a legacy of reform beyond this generation,” it added.


Bersih also told Anwar that there is an ongoing concern that the public will no longer come out to vote if the government does not carry out reforms as promised when they campaigned for the 15th general election.

Anwar had previously marched with Bersih in 2016 before he was elected prime minister.

In a Facebook post afterwards, Anwar said several of Bersih’s recommendations were under the government's consideration.


“Some of the recommendations in the memorandum are already under consideration and action by the unity government,” he said.

The prime minister emphasised the need for dialogue and open discussion to grasp the aspirations of civil society and the challenges faced by the government, especially on the issues raised in the memorandum.

“An inclusive approach in hearing the views of civil society such as Bersih is hoped to enhance the synergy between civil society and the government in the country's democratic process,” he said.

Anwar also said that in the meeting with Bersih, he had highlighted the importance of strengthening political education and increasing political literacy among the public towards a better Malaysian political landscape.

Yesterday, Bersih and a crowd of nearly 100 people marched along Jalan Parlimen, Kuala Lumpur to deliver the memorandum, but only six lawmakers — Selayang MP William Leong Jee Keen, Sungai Petani MP Mohammed Taufiq Johari, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari, Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim and Ledang MP Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh — came down to the street to receive it.

Earlier this month, Bersih warned the national unity government that the group could launch another of its mass protests unless there were visible efforts to deliver on reforms previously promised in their election manifestos, saying it would be monitoring the government’s legislative progress during this parliamentary meeting.

Electoral watchdog Bersih has organised five massive protests considered to be inflexion points in the evolution of Malaysia’s political landscape, beginning with the first in 2007.