Maria Chin Abdullah: Parliament As A Continuation of Change

After so many years leading the Bersih rally, Maria Chin certainly has reasons as to why she left.

After a few years fighting for the unheard and oppressed voices of the people, Maria Chin Abdullah has renounced her position as Bersih chairperson to run the recent GE14 as a candidate. Of course, as you may know by now, she has won her constituency of Petaling Jaya nearly triple her predecessor Hee Loy Sian, which to many of us, is definitely a huge victory.

But to some of us, her victory in the election is perceived as a lose-lose situation, for both Maria Chin and the new government Pakatan Harapan. Despite receiving the support from Bersih leadership and supporters, a few others still see her decision as an abandonment — or even a betrayal — for those who once embraced Bersih.

 

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A woman activist who held the Bersih rally and formed the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 non-governmental organisation, Maria Chin told us her long journey in Bersih has always been about fighting for the systemic change.

“Most people who came to Bersih rally was not only because of the electoral reform. People came because they felt there was a platform for them to express themselves and to voice out their desires for change”, said Maria Chin.

Having said that, we asked her about the decision to leave and become a politician after so many years in Bersih.

“The decision took about a year or so. Actually, I see parliament as another platform where we can actually express our reform agenda. Talking about institutional reform and better economic situation for people, in the parliament, at least we can say these things”, she explained.

 

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Now a Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya, Maria Chin is determined to address the problems in her including women and youth, public housing, health, education, and sustainable development.

“Petaling Jaya is urban but it is caught in the middle of urban slum that we never expect. People are living in a very bad condition and for almost 20 years, nobody really care about them. These are some of the issues that the people need some help with”, she said.

As these problems have been on the plate for 61 years, Maria Chin said she — along with the new government — needs time in order to resolve them.

Attended the launch of MORPHOSIS at Galeri Prima Balai Berita Bangsar recently, she said that Tabung Harapan is another way of how people can contribute to the country.

“One trillion is no joke. At least, when the Tabung Harapan started, it was mainly to ask the people to contribute (to the country).”

Basir Zainuddin

Basir Zainuddin

Of coffee, music, and sea breeze.
Basir Zainuddin

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