PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are becoming increasingly more aware about what the country’s democracy ought to be as Bersih has become a loud voice not to be ignored, said Ambiga Sreenevasan.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, the former co-chairperson of Bersih and lawyer said Bersih had also empowered the people to have a say in how their country should be run.

“Bersih has lifted the awareness of Malaysians to what our democracy ought to be. And what it is not.

“It has done advocacy and training so that people can play their part as voters whether on election day or when the re-delineation process is on,” she said.

She explained how the electoral watchdog had already achieved so much in giving the people hope by speaking “loudly with one voice” about what changes they wanted in the country’s leadership.

She also said Bersih had become the vehicle to collectively express the people’s dissatisfaction at the way the country was run, since their leaders had shown how incapable they were of listening to reason and instead preferred to “dish out utter garbage to us”.

She said Bersih had become a “voice loud enough that it cannot be ignored. If ignored, the price to pay will be heavy.”

Touching on the Bersih 4 rally this weekend, Ambiga said that despite the intense opposition by the authorities against holding it, the event had given people a renewed sense of purpose and added, “In short, Bersih gives hope.

“And look at all those who were against it before who now support it. That is change happening right before us.”

The Bersih 4 rallies, set to take place from August 29-30 in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching to coincide with Merdeka Day had invited controversy with police declaring the rally in KL illegal.

Support for the rally from the people however has been overwhelming with donations far exceeding the RM200,000 mark as people gave generously hitting a new target of over RM1.5 million. Yellow Bersih T-shirts have also been completely sold out.

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