Bersih 2.0 denies being pro-PH, says ministers not spared

Bersih 2.0 denies that it favoured Pakatan Harapan over Barisan Nasional.

PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 today rebutted claims that it favoured Pakatan Harapan (PH) over Barisan Nasional (BN), listing instances where they had criticised the previous government.

The election watchdog’s steering committee said it not only reprimanded PH for electoral offences during by-elections, but even lodged a police report against it during the Semenyih by-election last March.

“Bersih 2.0 observed and monitored each of these by-elections and issued reports after they ended,” it said in a statement today.

“Each report showed that the government committed the most electoral offences. Each of the major offences, such as using government resources for campaigning, was critiqued on the spot.”

It said it took to task PH’s lack of commitment to abolish the Sedition Act, and criticised two former ministers – Lim Guan Eng and Maszlee Malik – over two separate matters.

Lim, the former finance minister, who was charged with corruption in the purchase of a bungalow below market value, saw his case thrown out by the Attorney-General’s Chambers in 2018 in a decision Bersih 2.0 said was “alarming”.

Former education minister Maszlee, meanwhile, was rebuked for preventing opposition lawmakers from entering school grounds.

Commenting on a wave of MPs who joined PH in 2018, Bersih 2.0 reiterated that it warned the coalition not to accept the party-hoppers as they could “threaten Malaysia’s democracy”.

Bersih 2.0 also denied disrespecting the Yang di Pertuan Agong, providing a link to one of its media statements last March which praised the ruler for his “wise” speech at the opening of the second session of the 14th Parliament.