Bersih plans festival in Kuala Lumpur to raise awareness of democratic reforms

Protesters from the Orang Asli community marching along Jalan Tun Perak in Kuala Lumpur during the continuation of the Bersih 4.0 rally on Aug 30, 2015.
Protesters from the Orang Asli community marching along Jalan Tun Perak in Kuala Lumpur during the continuation of the Bersih 4.0 rally on Aug 30, 2015.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

KUALA LUMPUR - Electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 is planning a five-day Yellow Mania festival to raise awareness of democratic reforms in Malaysia and to reach out to the "silent" supporters.

The event, scheduled on Jan 6-10, will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) , the Malaysian Insider reported on Tuesday (Dec 22).

The group said the event, with "relaxing and fun-filled" activities, is also meant to thank supporters who took part in the Bersih 4 pro-democracy rally in August.

"This event is to appreciate the Bersih 4 rally goers and all other supporters, who may have not attended for their own reasons," the group's secretariat manager Mandeep Singh was quoted as saying.

"It is meant to be an educational eye-opener and a leisurely experience at the same time. "It is also to appeal to those with interest in creative activism," Mr Mandeep said.

Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said there would also be forums and discussions on issues such as the campaign to oppose the National Security Council Bill, the news portal reported.

She said the list of speakers for the event had yet to be finalised but might include speakers from Indonesia and Myanmar, who would share the experiences of civil society movements in their countries.

The Bersih 4 rally, which was held for 34 hours from Aug 29 to 30 this year, drew hundreds of thousands of yellow-clad people despite an eleventh-hour ban on wearing yellow T-shirts with "Bersih 4".

Yellow is Bersih's signature colour to symbolise reform. The rally's demands were for democratic reforms and the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak over alleged financial scandals linked to state firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).