KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 will now go by the name Bersih only minus the “2.0” number behind their name that has become synonymous with them since their inception.
Bersih chairman Thomas Fann said this was to avoid confusing the public and also to go back to their original name before they made the change to Bersih 2.0.
“We made this decision on our 15th anniversary in November last year to drop the '2.0' moniker. That number came in 2010 when Bersih completely became a civil society.
“Initially we were with several Opposition lawmakers but after they won five state governments we said it was best we held them accountable too, so in order to separate the two entities we called ourselves Bersih 2.0. The steering committee however agreed to drop this number as it created confusion.
“Every time I introduce myself as Bersih 2.0 chairman I'm asked who's the chairman for 3.0 and 4.0 and so on hence we will now revert to the old name and go by Bersih,” said Fann today during a forum on voter supremacy.
In November 2006 five political parties and 25 NGOs came together to form the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih). A Joint Communique detailing the list of electoral reforms was issued at its launch in the Parliament House.
In 2010, the party-civil society coalition of Bersih was succeeded by the civil-society-only coalition of Bersih 2.0. The growing strength of civil society in the reform movement has laid down a good foundation to build a mature and healthy multi-party democracy, where party-capture of state can be checked.