Bersih 2.0 releases 2,126-page accounts for Bersih 4, wants Najib to reciprocate on RM2.6b donation

Bersih 2.0, comprising of more than 40 rights groups, declared a RM 1.9 million surplus after spending RM664,052 expenditure for the 34-hour rally on August 29 and 30. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Bersih 2.0, comprising of more than 40 rights groups, declared a RM 1.9 million surplus after spending RM664,052 expenditure for the 34-hour rally on August 29 and 30. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PETALING JAYA, Oct 6 — Debunking claims its two-day rally in August was foreign-funded, poll reform group Bersih 2.0 made public today its financial papers showing some RM2.6 million in donations.

The group said it made the declaration to prove it had nothing to hide, before it challenged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to detail the RM 2.6 billion donation he had reportedly received from a Middle Eastern donor on behalf of Umno, in the wake of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy.

“What we are declaring today has been ratified by our financial officers,” steering committee member Masjaliza Hamzah told a press conference at the Bersih 2.0 office here.

The coalition, comprising of more than 89 non-governmental groups, declared a RM 1.9 million surplus after spending RM664,052 expenditure for the 34-hour rally on August 29 and 30.

The group said its 2,126-page bank statement with details of the donors had been sent for auditing. About 27,000 individuals had donated to the movement.

The declaration comes just over a month following the rally.

Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah previously promised that the movement will declare its accounts following the rally.

Explaining the source of its finances further, the group said RM553,914 came from the sale of their T-shirt while another RM28,795 came from the sale of mufflers.

The printing costs for the T-shirts and mufflers cost RM296,000 and RM11,600 respectively and transporting them cost an extra RM4,726.

The Kuching edition cost RM50,071 while the cost of co-ordinating the rallies in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching amounted to RM6,487.

The launch of the rally cost RM31,938.

Masjaliza said the balance of RM1.983 million will be used to fund Bersih 2.0 programmes for the next two years.

They include voter empowerment, legal costs and training programmes.

“So with this we have fulfilled our promise to declare our finances for Bersih 4.

“Now it is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s turn to fulfil his pledge to declare the RM2.6 billion. Failure to do so would means what is left of his credibility will be completely gone,” the group said.

In an article on July 2, US-based business paper Wall Street Journal, citing documents from Malaysian investigators scrutinising 1MDB’s financials, said a money trail showed that almost US$700 million had been channelled into what appeared to be the prime minister’s accounts.

The report said, however, that the source of the funds was unknown although it noted that it was the first time that Najib had been linked to the probe on the troubled state investor.

Najib has reiterated that he has not used any public fund for personal gain.

* A previous version of this story contained multiple errors. The article has been amended to state the correct composition of Bersih 2.0, the costs to co-ordinate the rallies and the expenditure to hold the Kuching edition of Bersih 4.

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