Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften

Talk of Ming Chee Ang: Bersih Movement and Political Change in Malaysia

  • Wann 27.08.2013 von 14:00 bis 16:00
  • Wo IAAW – Invalidenstr. 118 – room 117 (1st floor)
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Talk of Ming Chee Ang:


Bersih Movement and Political Change in Malaysia

Ming Chee ANG


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for East and Southeast Asian Studies, Lund University, Sweden



Unlike in liberal democratic states, social movements in non-liberal, democratic systems face higher risks of coercive suppression, encounter more constraints in terms of accessing resources or mobilizing support from the community. This presentations looks into Bersih’s mobilization framework (in particular, the roles of the steering committee and usage of social medias) to explain its wide spread popularity among Malaysian, and how it survived threats and suppressions imposed by state and states agencies.    

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Election movement, better known as the Bersih movement, is the largest social movement in Malaysia today. Bersih consists of some 60 NGOs and five leading opposition political parties, and demands reforms of the country’s electoral and political system. In reaction, the Barisan Nasional ruling regime has responded to Bersih demands with mixed reactions, which range from harsh repression to cooperation.

In this presentation, I argue that regime and social movement engage in active and dynamic collaboration and negotiation (both on stage and off stage). Due to most decision making within non-liberal democracy are imposed in varied degrees according to the interpersonal relationship between the power-executer and power-receiver, the significance of relational institutions is inversely related to the effectiveness of democratic institutions.



Short Bio

Ming Chee ANG is a postdoctoral fellow at Lund University since 2013. She specializes on politics, people, and protests in the Southeast Asia region. Her research focuses on the collective action and social resistance of communities within non-liberal democracies. Her works consisted of indigenous and bottoms-up empirical evidence, with special strength on collective identity based on ethnicity, culture, and religion. 
She is now completing her first manuscript, “Institutions and Social Mobilization: Chinese Education Movement in Malaysia”, to be published by ISEAS by the end of 2013. One of her main research project for 2013 is to understand the global mobilization of Malaysia Bersih movements.