Belasungkawa kepada rakan Bersih 2.0 yang telah pergi pada tahun 2019 (Malay/English)

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) ingin memberi penghormatan kepada beberapa orang rakan yang telah dijemput Ilahi pada tahun 2019 yang telah menyumbang kepada pergerakan kami, sama ada sebagai pemimpin, penyokong dan menjadi sukarelawan sepanjang perjalanan Bersih, dan sumbangan mereka akan sentiasa segar dalam ingatan.

Bersih berada di tahap ini adalah disebabkan oleh sumbangan dan sokongan rakyat Malaysia yang tidak berbelah bahagi dengan cara mereka sendiri untuk pilihan raya bersih dan adil serta demi negara yang lebih demokratik. Mereka mungkin telah meninggalkan kita namun kita masih terinspirasi oleh legasi khidmat mereka kepada kami.

Ong Lai Mun, 38

Lai Mun pernah berkhidmat sebagai naib pengerusi Bersih 2.0 bagi selatan Semenanjung dari 2015 hingga 2018 dan memainkan peranan penting menyediakan platform laman web untuk pemantauan pilihan raya bagi program Pemantau kami semasa pilihan raya umum yang lalu.

Sebagai salah seorang pengasas Engage, sebuah NGO yang aktif dalam isu-isu pilihan raya dan hak asasi manusia, beliau juga memainkan peranan penting dalam penganjuran Freedom Film Festival di Johor. Terima kasih kepada kepimpinan beliau, satu pasukan yang aktif telah bukan sahaja menganjurkan tayangan hak asasi manusia di Johor Bahru dan Muar, turut dibawa masuk ke sekolah-sekolah.

Lai Mun telah didiagnos dengan barah paru-paru tahap empat di penghujung tahun 2017; namun beliau tetap melawannya sehingga ke akhirnya dan meninggalkan kita pada 10 November 2019.

Sikap “boleh-buat” dan suka memberi galakan akan dirindui oleh semua yang pernah bekerja dengan beliau. Lai Mun adalah jurutera eletrik dan pakar di dalam perlindungan bangunan daripada kilat.

Pow Kiew An, 45

Berazam untuk menyertai himpunan Bersih 2 pada 2011, namun menghadapi kemungkinan keganasan pihak polis dan perkauman, Kiew An menulis surat perpisahan kepada isteri tercinta dan anak perempuannya yang terlalu muda untuk memahami demokrasi dan kebebasan, bahawa beliau merasakan menjadi tugas beliau untuk memperjuangkan negara yang lebih baik. Beliau juga telah membuat perancangan kewangan bagi memastikan keluarganya terjaga sekiranya sesuatu yang tidak diingini terjadi.

Beliau adalah pemimpin utama pergerakan Pendidikan Pilihan Raya Bunga Matahari (Sunflower Electoral Education – Seed) dan penyokong Mama Bersih, kedua-duanya menjuarai isu reformasi pilihan raya.

Menghadapi pilihan raya umum 2013, beliau memobilisasi sumber bagi surat berita alternatif bagi mempromosikan perlindungan alam sekitar, hak asasi dan demokrasi, Akhbar Sunflower, untuk dicetak dan diedarkan ke seluruh negara bagi memecahkan kawalan media oleh Barisan Nasional (BN).

Selain kerja-kerja melibatkan Bersih, Kiew An juga telah mengutip dana dan memobilisasi sokongan kepada aktivis yang ditekan oleh sistem, termasuklah aktivis di Kelantan yang didakwa kerana mencabar salah guna kuasa polis dan 13 aktivis Pas yang didakwa serta dipenjarakan kerana menahan kereta istana semasa protes krisis Perak pada tahun 2009.

READ MORE:  Sarawak activists ‘walking the talk’

Sedihnya, beliau pergi meninggalkan kita pada 18 Oktober 2019 kerana serangan jantung. Kiew Ann meninggalkan seorang isteri, Careen dan tiga orang anak perempuan.

Ang Hean Leng, 41

Hean Leng adalah sebahagian daripada pasukan peguam pro-bono yang mempertahankan jawatankuasa pemandu Bersih 2.0 apabila pihak polis memfailkan saman sivil kepada Bersih 2.0 menuntut RM110,543 untuk kerugian dan kerosakan kepada kenderaan polis semasa himpunan Bersih 3 pada 2012. Terima kasih kepada hujahan pasukan peguam yang bernas dan meyakinkan, tuntutan pihak polis digugurkan oleh Mahkamah Tinggi, Mahkamah Rayuan dan Mahkamah Persekutuan.

Hean Leng secara peribadi mewakili narasumber Bersih 2.0 Wong Chin Huat yang memfailkan tuntutan balas terhadap serangan fizikal yang dialaminya semasa ditahan polis pada himpunan Bersih 3. Sekali lagi, mahkamah berpihak kepada Wong dan beliau diberikan RM15,000 bagi kerosakan dan RM30,000 untuk kos.

Pada 2017, apabila pemimpin Bersih 2.0 dipanggil oleh polis bagi siasatan tuduhan penerimaan dana daripada George Soros yang tidak berasas, peguam daripada Lee Hishammuddin Allen dan Gledhill sekali lagi mewakili Wong.

Selain menyokong perjuangan gerakan masyarakat sivil, Hean Leng juga adalah pensyarah separuh masa untuk jurnalisme dan undang-undang dan kajian Malaysia di Universiti Monash Malaysia dari 2010 hingga 2015 dan menjadi inspirasi mahasiswa di sana.

Kita kehilangan beliau pada 22 Disember 2019 akibat barah paru-paru.

Mohd Khairul Ikmal Aris, 23

Khairul Ikmal, atau nama panggilannya Kimal atau Panjang, adalah aktivis muda di tempat asalnya iaitu di Sabah. Bersama rakan-rakan beliau telah memperjuangkan demokrasi, kebebasan dan pilihan raya adil dan bersih.

Kimal secara aktif menawarkan diri semasa Bersih 5 pada tahun 2016 untuk mengumpulkan penunggang motorsikal bagi menyertai konvoi Bersih di daerah Sandakan. Beliau juga menjadi salah seorang sukarelawan keselamatan apabila himpunan Bersih diadakan di Taman Rimba Ujana Kota Kinabalu.

Semangat dan kesungguhan beliau akan sangat dirindui. Kimal telah lemas semasa berenang di Sungai Mandalipau, Papar, Sabah pada 6 Oktober 2019.

Bersih 2.0 sangat terhutang budi kepada mereka yang sangat mencintai tanah air ini sehingga ke tahap mereka sanggup berhadapan kesukaran, merisikokan kebebasan, pendapatan malah reputasi mereka untuk berjuang bagi Malaysia yang lebih baik.

Apakah Bersih 2.0 akan menjadi seperti hari ini jika tidak disebabkan oleh ribuan rakyat Malaysia seperti Lai Mun, Kiew An, Hean Leng dan Kimal yang sanggup dan selalunya secara senyap memberikan masa, sumber dan diri sendiri untuk berkhidmat kepada masyarakat, perhimpunan dan kempen di sepanjang perjalanan ini.

Terima kasih kepada mereka dan ramai lagi yang tidak dapat dirakamkan dalam belasungkawa ini, kita menyaksikan pertukaran kerajaan pada tahun 2018.

READ MORE:  Sarawak activists ‘walking the talk’

Kerja-kerja reformasi pilihan raya adalah jauh daripada selesa dan kami akan terus mendesak untuk mengukuhkan institusi pilihan raya dan demokrasi bagi pihak rakan-rakan kita yang telah pergi lebih awal.

Satukan tenaga, Malaysia baru!

Jawatankuasa pemandu Bersih 2.0

English version

Eulogy to friends of Bersih 2.0 who departed in 2019

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) wishes to honour the memory of several people who have passed away in 2019 but whose contributions to our movement either as leaders, advocate or as volunteers over the years will always be remembered.

Bersih is what it is today because of the countless, selfless Malaysians like them who in their own way did their part for free and fair elections and for a more democratic nation. They may have departed but we are still being inspired by the legacy of their service to us.

Ong Lai Mun, 38

Lai Mun served as Bersih 2.0 vice-chairperson for southern region of the peninsula from 2015 to 2018 and played a key role in putting together our web-based election monitoring reporting platform for our Pemantau programme during the last general election.

As one of the co-founders of Engage, an NGO active in electoral and human rights issues, she also played a significant role in organising the Freedom Film Festival for Johor. Thanks to her leadership, there is an active team that not only organises the screening of human rights films in Johor Bahru and Muar but also brings these films into the schools.

Lai Mun was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer at the end of 2017, and she put up a valiant fight against the disease till the very end and left us on 10 November 2019.

Her positive “can-do” and encouraging attitude will be sorely missed by all who have worked with her. Lai Mun was an electrical engineer by profession and specialised in lightning protection for buildings.

Pow Kien An, 45

Determined to join the Bersih 2 rally in 2011 but faced with possible police violence and ethnic riots, Kiew An wrote a moving farewell letter to his beloved wife and his daughter, who was too young to understand what democracy and freedom is, saying he felt the call of duty to stand up for a better country. He also made financial arrangement to ensure that his family would be provided for should anything untoward happen to him.

READ MORE:  Sarawak activists ‘walking the talk’

He was a key leader in the Sunflower Electoral Education (Seed) movement and a warm supporter of Mama Bersih, both championing electoral reform.

In the run-up to the 2013 general election, he mobilised resources for an alternative newsletter promoting environmental protection, human rights and democracy, Sunflower Paper, to be printed and circulated nationwide to break the media control by the ruling Barisan Nasional.

Beyond Bersih-related work, Kiew An had been raising funds and mobilising supports for activists who were suppressed by the system, including an activist in Kelantan who was persecuted for challenging police abuse of power and 13 Pas activists who were charged and jailed for blocking a royal car in protest at the 2009 Perak crisis.

Sadly, we lost him on 18 October 2019 to a heart attack. Kiew An left behind his wife Careen and three lovely daughters.

Ang Hean Leng, 41

Hean Leng was part of a pro-bono team of lawyers who came forward to defend the Bersih 2.0 steering committee when the police filed a civil suit against Bersih 2.0 claiming RM110,543 for loss and damages suffered to police vehicles during the Bersih 3 rally in 2012.

Thanks to the legal team’s eloquent and persuasive arguments, the claim by the police was thrown out at the High Court, the Appeal Court and the Federal Court.

Hean Leng personally represented Bersih resource person Wong Chin Huat, who filed a counter-claim for physical assault while in police custody during the Bersih 3 rally. Again, the court found in favour of Wong, and he was awarded RM15,000 in damages and RM30,000 in costs.

In 2017 when Bersih 2.0 leaders were called in for investigation by the police for an unfounded allegation of receiving funding from George Soros, the lawyer from Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill again acted as Wong’s counsel.

Besides supporting civil society causes, Hean Leng also lectured part-time on lournalism and the law and Malaysian studies at Monash University Malaysia from 2010 to 2015 and inspired many students there. Sadly, we lost him to lung cancer on 22 December 2019.

Mohd Khairul Ikmal Aris, 23

Khairul Ikmal, or Kimal or Panjang as he was often called, was a young activist based in his home state of Sabah. Together with his friends, he fought for democracy, freedom and free and fair elections.

Kimal actively volunteered himself during Bersih 5 in 2016, organising motorbikers to join the Bersih convoy from the Sandakan area. He was also one of the security volunteers when the rally was held at Taman Rimba Ujana Kota Kinabalu.

His enthusiasm and spirit will be sorely missed. Kimal drowned while swimming in a river at Mandalipau, Papar, Sabah on 6 October 2019.

Bersih 2.0 is indebted to these fine Malaysians, who loved this country to the point that they were prepared to suffer inconvenience and risk the loss of their freedom, income and even reputation to fight for a better Malaysia.

Indeed, what is Bersih 2.0 if not for the thousands of Malaysians like Lai Mun, Kiew An, Hean Leng and Kimal, who willingly and often anonymously gave their time, resources and themselves to serve as volunteers in our committees, rallies and campaigns over the years.

Thanks to these and others not recorded, who have departed, we saw a historic change of government in 2018.

The work of electoral reform is far from over and we will continue to push for the strengthening of our electoral and democratic institutions in memory of our friends who have departed all too soon.

Satukan tenaga, Malaysia baru!

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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