The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections 2.0 (Bersih 2.0) is overwhelmed by the phenomenal show of support from Malaysians who responded to our call for donations for the Bersih 4 peaceful assembly.
To-date we have received over RM1.5m in donations. This amount far exceeds our initial budget of RM200,000 which was based on shoe-string estimates and our sense of the economic hardship Malaysians are enduring.
We were ready to use our reserves to cover any gap between our expenditure and donations. Also, we expected to raise more funds through our annual fund-raising dinner later this year.
By giving so generously while suffering such economic hardship, the rakyat have overwhelmingly endorsed our call for clean elections, clean government, the right to dissent and the strengthening of our parliamentary democracy so that our economy can be saved.
Even after we announced the target had been exceeded, the donations kept pouring in. Donors have said that their donations are a signal of their discontent with how the country is run; that their donations are a small investment to put things right; that their donations signal their support for Bersih 2.0, not just the Bersih 4 peaceful assembly.
We will not disappoint the rakyat who have shown so much trust in us. We will be responsible, accountable and transparent. We will use the donations prudently to fund the immediate needs of the Bersih 4 peaceful assembly as well as Bersih 2.0’s long-term programmes.
For the Bersih 4 peaceful assembly, the overwhelming support of the rakyat has given us more options. We are now able to lease better and more equipment than we had originally planned. Such equipment includes portable toilets, communication devices, sound systems, lighting and generator sets. We are even evaluating the cost of leasing against the cost of purchasing.
Our immediate focus is to ensure that the Bersih 4 peaceful assembly is a success in terms of mobilisation, communication of our messages, implementation of our programme for the 34 hours, conveniences for participants – and, most importantly, the safety and security of all.
The overwhelming support of the rakyat has made us recognise the need for us to spend more in order to reduce the inconveniences and risks to them. Therefore, the cost of organising the Bersih 4 peaceful assembly will now exceed our original modest estimate.
A large portion of the expenses will be used to ensure that our security personnel and logistics volunteers will be able to carry out their duties safely over the two days. We will also fund bail money and litigation costs for participants and organisers and provide compensation for leased equipment which may be confiscated.
We will use the remainder of the donations to fund our operational expenses, public interest litigation, publicity and our various programmes such as the re-delineation monitoring programme, the upcoming Sarawak state elections and voter education programmes throughout the country.
Thanks to the overwhelming support, we have decided not to hold our annual fundraising dinner this year.
After the Bersih 4 peaceful assembly we will publish our accounts. We will continue to make financial decisions after collecting and reviewing the views and suggestions of members of the coalition as well as from supporters at large. We welcome all suggestions and queries and invite the public to hold us accountable and transparent.
We are pleased to express our deepest appreciation to the rakyat who have provided this overwhelming support for our struggle for a cleaner, fairer, freer and better Malaysia for all.
Hidup Bersih! Hidup Rakyat!
Maria Chin Abdullah, Chair, Bersih 2.0
Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee, comprising:
Timbalan Pengerusi: Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan; Bendahari: Masjaliza Hamzah; wakil kebangsaan: Prof Madya Dr Abdul Halim bin Yusof, Farhana binti Abdul Halim, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri dan New Sin Yew; naib pengerusi: Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah), Ahmad b Awang Ali (Sarawak), Abd Halim b Wan Ismail (Semenanjung Timur), Thomas Fann (Semenanjung Selatan), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Semenanjung Tengah) dan Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (Semenanjung Utara).