Malaysia: More rallies promised if Malaysia ignores demands for electoral reform | Australia Network News

The co-chair of Malaysia’s Bersih movement has promised another street rally if the government ignores the peoples’ demand for electoral reform. Speaking to Radio Australia’s Asia Pacific, Ambiga Sreenevasan says the Election Commission must clean up its electoral rolls before proceeding with its delineation of parliamentary and state constituency boundaries. The states of Sabah and Sarawak will be among those affected by the changes. She says the movement is very worried about the Electoral Commission’s plans. “What the election commission is planning to do, and they are pushing on ahead as I understand it, is to do the re-delineation process based on the electoral role which was used in the May elections. “That would be wholly unacceptable.”

Malaysia: UN experts urge Malaysia to protect poll activists | Channel NewsAsia

UN human rights experts have denounced what they called “disturbing” harassment of Malaysian activists who are pushing for election reform and urged the government to protect them. The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections staged a rally by tens of thousands in Kuala Lumpur on April 28 that ended with protesters clashing with police, who arrested more than 500 people. Since then, leaders of the coalition, which groups dozens of non-governmental organisations, have complained of an official campaign to “demonise” them and of tacit harassment by authorities of coalition members.

Malaysia: Lawmakers Recommend Changes to Malaysian Electoral System |

A parliamentary committee recommended a series of changes to the Malaysian electoral system on Tuesday, but opposition groups and activists said they did not go far enough to ensure a level playing field for elections widely expected later this year. The committee, which consisted of five members of the governing coalition, three opposition members and one independent, was set up last year by Prime Minister Najib Razak following a rally that brought tens of thousands of people into the streets calling for greater transparency and fairness in elections. Its report contained 22 proposals, including steps to ensure that the electoral rolls list only legitimate voters, that political candidates have equal access to the news media and that the Election Commission function independently of partisan politics. The lower house adopted the report later in the day.

Malaysia: Electoral Reformers Plan Next Steps After Protest Crackdown | VoA News

The organizers of Saturday’s massive demonstration in Malaysia, the largest such protest criticizing the government in years, are demanding authorities release six people still in detention and respond to their list of grievances. Organizers are not planning more street protests at this time.

The fallout from the Bersih electoral reform rallies which attracted tens of thousands of people onto the streets of the capital has not diminished, with the government defending the actions of its police force and arguing the movement does not enjoy any popular support.

Lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan, who is president of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections which organized the Bersih rallies, says there is no need for more rallies until authorities address their concerns about improving electoral transparency.