Bersih was ostensibly all about electoral reform. But it has become so much more than that. For Bersih was – is? – a Big Thing. You don’t bring the nation’s capital to a standstill – five times from 2007 to 2016 – without leaving an enduring impact.
But how did it start, and by whom? (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t Ambiga.) Dozens of people involved in the very first Bersih speak candidly to journalist Danny Lim about the motivations, strategies, surprising cooperations and inevitable compromises that resulted in the movement.
Bersih played a crucial – and very public – role in revolutionising the political landscape in Malaysia. For the genesis of Bersih is the genesis of Pakatan Rakyat, which led to Pakatan Harapan and the end of Barisan Nasional’s 61-year stranglehold on power.
WE ARE MARCHING NOW is a breezy account of who was there, what they did – and where we are now.
DANNY LIM is a long-time freelance journalist and writer who has worked for many local and international media organisations on a wide variety of topics, most frequently with the BBC, as well as Al-Jazeera, CNN, The Edge and The Sun (Malaysia). His previous book for Matahari Books was the illustrated Wanted: Botak Chin.