More than 500 Penangites packed the first floor hall at the Caring Society Complex in Penang to listen to Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan’s thoughts on ‘Elections and Democracy’.
In a stirring address at the forum organised by Aliran on 7 October 2012, Ambiga thanked the audience in Penang for their impressive turnout at the Bersih 3.0 solidarity gathering at the Esplanade on 28 April.
She highlighted the harassment experienced by Suaram after it had exposed the Scorpene submarine scandal and noted that the brouhaha about the human rights group’s sources of funding mirrored Bersih’s own experience not long ago.
But after the Bersih 2.0 rally last year, she said Bersih had been funded entirely by Malaysians, she noted. “In fact, I even get SMSes from ordinary Malaysians asking, where can I send money to Bersih; I want to help.”
Ambiga noted the irony of politicians complaining about sources of funding: “Who are they to question these groups about their sources of funding when they have practised dirty money politics for the longest time?”