Wednesday 22 August 2012

Ambiga to quit as Bersih co-chair after GE13

Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevesan has revealed her intention to step down from her post in the electoral reform movement after the next general election.

NONEIn an interview with financial news-wire Bloomberg published today, Ambiga said this would allow her to focus on her legal firm which specialises in commercial, intellectual property and industrial law.

It would also allow her time for personal interests such as cricket and the arts, which she has put aside to hold up the Bersih banner, the report added.

Ambiga said she also has unfinished work particularly on women's rights, which she had been advocating prior to taking the reins of Bersih, particularly when this involves issues of conversion to Islam.

“The courts have abdicated their responsibility over a lot of family law issues in these situations involving both the Syariah courts and civil courts,” she was quoted as saying.

She noted that, as a solution, the government had in 2008 proposed a law to require individuals wanting to convert to Islam, to first inform their family members. However, the process has stalled at the Council of Malay Rulers who are responsible for Islamic affairs.

“This should be first in line for resolution... The ordinary Malaysian is beginning to realise that it is not acceptable to play up religion and race in politics. There is a real maturing," she reportedly said.

Ambiga had led two major street protest to demand clean and fair election - these were the largest since the reformasi movement which started in 1998.

Her role has seen her subjected to harassment, death threats as well as vitriol from government lawmakers.

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