In Malaysia a civic movement called the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections – better known by its Malay name “Bersih”, which means clean – has enabled people to express their political dissatisfaction and long accumulated frustration via social media.
Malaysian politics is widely regarded as contentious. Since Malaysia’s independence in 1957, the current ruling coalition has been in power.
One of the key factors to such uninterrupted ruling by one party is the widely regarded “unbalanced” electoral processes. For years, the democracy has suffered from entrenched advantages enjoyed by the ruling party and the gerrymandered constituencies.
In 2007 Malaysians took to the street to call for a reform of Malaysia’s electoral processes. Subsequently, three massive rallies took place in 2010, 2012 and 2015.
Thanks to the diffusion effect of social media, the size of rallies has grown from 30,000 in 2007 to 200,000 in 2015. More than 70 Facebook groups have been created, plus blogs, and YouTube, Whatsapp were used frequently. Read more