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September 22, 2019 LETTER OF APPEAL Selamat Hari Malaysia dear friends and supporters! To those who had supported us in our last fund-raising campaign in August 2017, many thanks once again! Your contributions matched & supported our efforts and we witnessed the historic 14th General Elections. To see what we had achieved, do read our “Year in Review-2018” post (link at end of letter**).  Below are some updates. 2019 Updates (Photo credit : Fabrizio Belardetti) 1. Approval by Registrar of Societies R.O.S.E. was officially registered with the Registrar of Societies in April 2019 under the name of Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat (PPDM). However, unofficially, we continue to use the acronym R.O.S.E - Rise of Social Efforts. This registration is of significance as it validates our status as a civil society organization in any collaboration with governmental agencies and also in funding strategies. 2. New Voters Registration Several ROSE members were appointed as Assistant Registration Officers with the Elections Commission under the Bersih 2.0 banner. This was done prior to the passage of Undi 18 and automatic voter registration which is not expected to be in time for the coming Sarawak State Election. Moreover, some have given feedback that the online registration procedure by EC is not user friendly, thus discouraging usage. Hence for Sarawak, manual voter registration must continue leading up to PRN12. For semi-rural and rural areas we have identified and appointed ‘Local Champions’ from about 12 ‘kawasan’ throughout Sarawak to work with us to capture those eligible but unregistered. To date, we have helped to register about 1,000 new voters this year. 3.  Civic and Voter Education programmes and initiatives i.   Our “Chat with R.O.S.E” public forum was held on 28 April 2019 at the Summer Mall in Kota Samarahan on the topic: Youth & Employment with panelists Datuk Idris Buang, Information Head of PBB/ADUN of Muara Tuang and Mr Andrew Lo, Secretary of MTUC Sarawak who is also an activist and unionist. More than 100 people attended this forum. ii.   We organised a Voters Education session on 20th June for 80 students of UCSI Kuching Campus in collaboration with Akademi Pilihan Raya KL whose trainer facilitated the session. If Not Now, Then When? If Not You, Then Who? Continue reading

Media Statement from SPR on #UNDI 18

The Chairperson of SPR has recently clarified that the constitutional amendments on Undi 18 has yet to be gazetted and as such the existing rules on new voter registration still applies. Only those 21 years and above can register as a new voter through any of the allowable methods including the online one. Additionally the anticipated automatic voter registration process implementation is estimated to take between 18- 24 months for implementation. You may read his statement here SPR Penjelasan Berkaitan #UNDI 18. Hence whether or not 18 year old can vote in the coming Sarawak state elections (PRN12) is not yet known at this stage. What we do advise is that those who are currently 21 and above to register as voter NOW in order that they will be able to vote when the time comes.

Sarawak-based CSO wants automatic voter registration in place before next state polls

"This is an increase of 820,000 from the roll as at GE14. We thus call on the Pakatan Harapan government and relevant agencies to ensure implementation of automatic voter registration and the other amendments in time for the coming 12th Sarawak state elections due in 2021," ROSE president Ann Teo said. KUCHING: The Federal Government and relevant agencies should implement automatic voter registration in time for the next Sarawak state election due in two years' time, says a Sarawak-based civil society organisation. Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat (ROSE) said lowering the voting age to 18 and automatic voter registration would increase the number of registered voters in Sarawak from 1.22 million during GE14 last year to 2.04 million. "This is an increase of 820,000 from the roll as at GE14. We thus call on the Pakatan Harapan government and relevant agencies to ensure implementation of automatic voter registration and the other amendments in time for the coming 12th Sarawak state elections due in 2021," ROSE president Ann Teo said in a statement on Wednesday (July 17). She congratulated the Dewan Rakyat for unanimously passing a Bill to amend the Federal Constitution on Tuesday (July 16) to lower the voting age, allow automatic voter registration and lower the minimum age for elected representatives to 18, saying this would increase youth participation in Malaysia's democracy. "Now the responsibility and the job lie with the experts in the agencies concerned, like the Election Commission, National Registration Department, police and Armed Forces to sort out the technicalities and roll out and implement the changes in the law," she said. Teo also said it was equally important for young people to know their democratic rights and roles as citizens and voters. "For real enfranchisement of the young, it is imperative for relevant agencies and stakeholders to deliver comprehensive voter information and education, including civic and citizenship education starting from secondary school," she said. As a next step, she called on the Federal Government to conduct another delineation exercise of constituencies in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. This needs to be done to address the issue of malapportionment in electoral constituencies as well as the increase in the electoral roll by as much as 7.8 million voters nationwide, she said. Article reproduced from The Star, 22 July 2019. Credits to Sharon Ling. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/07/17/sarawak-based-cso-wants-automatic-voter-registration-in-place-before-next-state-polls

Shaping A Better Narrative

Teo hoped to see greater civic and political literacy among Sarawakians. People should be empowered by knowledge, she said, to engage their elected representatives, whichever party they belong to, relevant government agencies and policy-makers to solve problems, advance a particular cause or make them more accountable. POLITICAL rhetoric in Sarawak has lately been dominated by the issue of state rights and autonomy, even more so since the change of government at federal level last May. In the aftermath of GE14, the ruling state coalition quit Barisan Nasional and rebranded itself as Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), an independent coalition of Sarawak parties unreservedly championing state-centric policies and interests under its rallying cry of "Sarawak First". Continue reading

ROSE is now officially Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat!

Citizen-driven Rise of Sarawak Efforts (ROSE) group is now officially registered as a society with the Registrar of Societies under the name of Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat (Rise of Social Efforts). In a press statement today, the association said the new name reflects its vision of promoting and enabling  members and the general public in particular Sarawakians, to become informed, active and engaged citizens. “Democracy requires a lot from each of us as citizens; it requires us to be civically literate. This means knowing the various institutions of government and how they work, being aware of the issues of the day, understanding how to take action including political action when pursuing a cause and carefully consuming information from the different forms of media,” it stated. Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat said they have long been involved in civic and voter education efforts and in the provision of platforms for citizen-participation for example, polling and counting agent training and new voter registration. “In the time leading up to the 14th General Election in May, 2018, we assisted in the registration of approximately 2,000 new voters annually. We also trained about 300 Sarawakians to take part in various parliamentary constituencies as PACAs (polling and counting agents).” The approval by Registrar of Societies of Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat – as a society whose core focus is people empowerment via civic and social education – also takes on another significance in the light of current political discourses shaping Sarawak right now, it noted. “Every Sarawakian needs to read up on our history and think critically and ask the more crucial question of ‘How will taking back state rights or autonomy make Sarawak a better place for us and our future generation?’ Participation and Engagement in the democratic process is key. Towards this end, Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat looks forward and will certainly play its part.” (From left to right) Chong, Lynn, Tang, Ann, co-opted committee member Steven Chen, Voon and co-opted committee member Alice Then Continue reading

Kenyataan Media :Forum Awam “Bersembang bersama ROSE” Tajuk Siri No. 1: “Belia & Pekerjaan di Sarawak: Peluang ATAU Cabaran”

Kenyataan MediaForum awam “Bersembang bersama ROSE”Tajuk Siri No. 1: “Belia & Pekerjaan di Sarawak: Peluang ATAU Cabaran”Kami berbangga untuk mengumumkan forum awam “Bersembang bersama ROSE” kami yang pertama akan berlangsung pada malam hari sabtu 16 Mac 2019 di Kuching. Selaras dengan misi kami yang juga salah satu keutamaan strategik kami untuk dua tahun yang akan datang iaitu mendidik masyarakat dan pengundi melaksanakan hak demokratik. Salah satu kaedah atau cara untuk melaksanakannya adalah dengan mengadakan forum awam berkenaan isu-isu semasa atau isu penting yang mempengaruhi rakyat atau segmen tertentu dalam komuniti kita.Tujuan utama Forum sembang ini adalah untuk membolehkan wacana bebas dan terbuka berkenaan isu-isu yang mempengaruhi rakyat Sarawak; yang mana mungkin kekal dalam kerajaan atau pembuat dasar. Dengan mengadakan forum seperti ini, kami berharap acara sebegini boleh memberi manfaat dengan perkongsian maklumat, penglibatan antara semua pihak dan pihak berkepentingan, malah yang paling penting untuk mengukuhkan nilai-nilai kita sebagai Anak Sarawak yang bertujuan untuk membina masa depan Sarawak yang lebih baik.Bagi forum pertama dalam siri dua bulan sekali ini, kami akan menyentuh isu senario pekerjaan di dalam negeri kita terutama terhadap belia dan anak muda sekalian. Topik Sembang kita pada hari ini ialah “Belia dan Pekerjaan di Sarawak: Peluang atau Cabaran”. Kami berasa bangga dapat menjemput ahli-ahli panel yang berikut dalam forum kami yang pertama, YB Datuk Idris Buang, ADUN Muara Tuang, Ketua Penerangan PBB dan juga seorang peguambela dan Encik Andrew Lo, seorang ahli kesatuan sekerja & aktivis dan juga Setiausaha MTUC (Kongres Kesatuan Sekerja Malaysia) Bahagian Sarawak. Ahli-ahli panel akan berkongsi dan berbincang berkenaan peluang dan kekurangan pekerjaan di Sarawak, cabaran & isu yang ditujukan kepada belia dan golongan yang sedang mencari pekerjaan, apakah yang perlu dilakukan oleh pihak masing-masing serta pihak berkepentingan untuk menutupi jurang tersebut. Kami percaya kedua-dua ahli panel ini boleh memberi sumbangan kepada para hadirin wacana ini dan yang lain.Kami menyeru golongan pelajar dan semua anak muda tanpa kira yang telah mempunyai pekerjaan atau tidak, serta orang ramai untuk menghadiri Forum sembang kami. Kami juga akan menjemput NGO tempatan yang lain dan ahli-ahlinya.Forum ini akan berlangsung di Concourse Level, Summer Mall di Samarahan dari pukul 7.30 pm hingga 9.30 pm. Pada hari Sabtu16 Mac 2019.Semua dijemput datang. Untuk maklumat lanjut, sila hubungi Ann di 016-8604998.Tarikh 11 Mac 2019Tamat ADDRESS: 2nd Floor, Lot 311, Forever Building, Jalan Abell, 93100 Kuching WEBSITE : www.sarawakrose.org | EMAIL:my@sarawakrose.org    

Press Statement: "Chat with ROSE” Series #1 Topic : “Youth & Employment in Sarawak; Opportunities OR Challenge”

Press Statement“Chat with ROSE” public forumSeries No. 1 Topic : “Youth & Employment in Sarawak; Opportunities OR Challenge”We are pleased to announce the first of our “Chat with ROSE” series of public forums which will be happening on Sat night the 16th March 2019 in Kuching. In line with our mission one of our strategic priorities for the next two years is educating citizens and voters on exercising democratic rights. One of the methods or ways that this can happen is through holding public forums on current or pertinent issues affecting the rakyat or specific segments of our communities.The objectives of these Chat forums is to enable free and open discourse on issues that affect Sarawakians; which might otherwise remain within the realm of policy-makers. By having such forums we are hopeful that these events will contribute towards the sharing of valuable information, engagement between all parties and stakeholders and most of all cementing our shared values as Anak Sarawak for the purposes of together building a better Sarawak.For the first of our bimonthly series we will be touching on the issue of the employment scenario here in our state particularly for the youths and young persons. The topic of our Chat will be “ Youth and Employment in Sarawak; Opportunities OR Challenge”. We are honored to have the following persons as panellists for our first forum, YB Datuk Idris Buang, ADUN Muara Tuang as well as Information Chief of party PBB & who is a practising lawyer. We will also have Mr Andrew Lo who is a unionist/activist and currently the Secretary of the Sarawak Division of MTUC (Malaysian Trade Unions Congress). The panelists will share and discuss employment opportunities or the lack of it in Sarawak, the challenges & issues that this poses to the youths and other job-seekers, what needs to be done by respective parties and stakeholders to close the gaps. We believe that both panelists can contribute towards the discourse for the benefit of those who come as well as the wider audience. The Chat forum will be moderated by Mr Geoffrey Tang, a member of ROSE.We call on students and all young persons whether working or not, and members of the public to attend the Chat forum. We will be inviting other local NGOs and their members to come as well.The forum will be happening at the Concourse Level of Summer Mall in Samarahan and will be from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm. On Saturday 16th March 2019. All are invited. For further enquiries kindly contact Ann at 016-8604998.Dated 11th March 2019End ADDRESS: 2nd Floor, Lot 311, Forever Building, Jalan Abell, 93100 Kuching WEBSITE : www.sarawakrose.org | EMAIL:my@sarawakrose.org    

Year in Review - 2018

There is no other word to describe the political mood or momentum in Sarawak at the end of 2017 & beginning of 2018 than the word ‘cold’. The people including voters did not seem to be excited at all about the looming 14th General Elections.  However this did not dampen our spirits as our mission was clear. An inaugural video production was already planned & underway for the purpose of getting the young to go out to vote. Many thanks to our donors and volunteer amateur actors, not forgetting the content writer and videomaker,  the “Tak Pangkah, Rugi Kau” short video clip was released just before Parliament was dissolved alongside with other wonderful GOTV videos by other CSOs all pushing to up the ante and get the young to exercise their rights to make a choice instead of opting out. If you remember, there was also a counter push by the #UndiRosak campaign.      Continue reading

Don't take electorate for fools!

Don't take the  electorate for fools! It is deeply disconcerting for us to see the unfolding events on the on-going exodus of UMNO assemblymen and parliamentarians from their party whom we had earlier thought that they will rise to be a formidable opposing force post GE14. After all one of the hallmark of a functioning and strong democracy is a strong opposition as a counterbalancing force and checks on power. Party- hopping not only subverts the will of the people who vote them in but it makes a mockery of the democratic process and indeed undermines trust of voters in the electoral system and party system. Such posturing of elected reps post formation of new government if for personal gain, self-interests and position must be strongly condemned. It also undermines the very essence of the political party system. It suggests that MPs who party hop have no interests or commitments to their party's ideological positions. Indeed, it suggests MPs are merely into politics for personal gain and not for public service. It also suggests that MPs are not interested in building up their own parties or advancing their party's ideological position within public discourse or to improve good governance in the country. We note that 41 countries including India, NZ and Singapore who require MPs to relinquish their seats if they wish to cross party. In Malaysia anti-party hopping laws have been held by the courts and are currently deemed unconstitutional. Hence there is a need for more debates and discussions on not just the morality of such party-hopping behavior and defections but also the need for electoral reform including imposing some form of rules or guidelines on political parties or parliamentarians themselves whilst not denying them the freedom to dissociate/associate.  This may include a law that allows the certain percentage of voters of a particular constituency to trigger or petition for a recall of their  MP to hold elected representatives to account to the people. This will be on the basis of stated serious  wrongdoing or misconduct and a by-election will be called and the people’s mandate sought. Lastly as a concerned citizens-action group working on voter empowerment, we call on Pakatan Harapan parties to be act responsibly so as not to trigger any instability in the political system including within its own coalition. It will take much more than just the PM in-waiting declaring that PKR will not accept such party hoppers.  Dated 14th Dec 2018 Issued by Rise of Sarawak Efforts ( ROSE) Media contact and spokesperson : Ann Teo 016-8604998

PRESS RELEASE Post GE14 Forums : "Malaysia Baru : Adakah Rakyat Bos?"

ROSE will be organizing a series of public talks and forum at the end of this month to be presented in roadshow-style at three (3) different locations namely Siburan, Petra Jaya and in Kuching city. The recently concluded General elections which resulted in a change of government for the first time in Malaysian history has been said to be a testament to people’s power in bringing this about despite obstacles thrown in their way like an unexplained mid-week voting day. Naturally the sentiments of the rakyat post 509 is high and there appears to be a greater interest and willingness by common folks, young and old to discuss the subject of politics and good governance. Of course the change of federal government and season of transition also evokes not just excitement and hope but anxieties as well.  For example, people were watching out anxiously for the full cabinet members to be revealed by the new PM, young people in general are keen to get themselves registered as voters and so forth. In order to tap into this heightened sense of awareness of people’s power, these talks ending with a finale forum will help members of interested public have a better understanding of what had transpired nationally including Sarawak during the GE14. Although the PH government secured majority seats in Parliament, the coalition did not win the  popular vote. It has also been reported that only 30% of the Malay- Muslim voting population supported PH compared with the 70% who did not. Other than voting trends and what impact these might have on the coming Sarawak State elections due in 2021, the second objective of ROSE is to explore how voters and citizens in general can engage and participate in the process of building a new Malaysia and to tap on to the wider democratic spaces that we now appear to have.    We have invited Associate Prof Dr Faisal S. Hazis  a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. He is also the Head of Centre for Asian Studies at the Institute. He will be speaking at EACH of the scheduled talks and finale forum. Dr Faisal specializes in electoral studies, democratization and rural informatics. He is also a prolific researcher and writer and some of his more recent work or research included strengthening and building the capacities of civil societies here in Sarawak. His more significant publications are: Patronage, Power and Prowess: Barisan Nasional’s Equilibrium Dominance in East Malaysia’ (2015), Malaysia in 2014: A Year of Political and Social Ferment’ (2015), ‘Politics and Local Government in Sarawak’ (2013) and ‘Domination and Contestation: Muslim Bumiputera Politics in Sarawak’ (2012). He is a life member of ALIRAN, a reform movement dedicated to justice, freedom and solidarity. Apart from that, Dr Faisal is also a committee member of Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK) and a life member of the Malaysian Social Science Association. Other than Dr Faisal, newly minted MPs for Puncak Borneo, YB Willie Monggin will join Dr Faisal for the talk in Siburan. On Sat evening (30th June) Dr Faisal and Puan Nurhanim Mokhsen, Sarawak PKR Women’s Chief who had contested in the Tupong seat during the last state elections shall be making their presentations. Another newly minted MP for Bandar Kuching Dr Kelvin Yii from the DAP and who is also the Publicity Chief for PH Youth Sarawak will be one of the panelists at the Forum on Sunday afternoon alongside Dr Faisal.  Last but not least, YB See Chee How, Sarawak PKR Vice-Chair and now a 2nd term ADUN will be amongst the panelists for the Forum. YB See is also a land rights lawyer and a lifelong supporter of indigenous communities and is a columnist for Borneo Post. Below are the details for each talk/forum. Bicara Pasca PRU14 (Siri 1) 29th June (friday night) Time:7pm-9.30 pm  Tamu Hall, Eastern Mall, Siburan Speakers: Dr Faisal and YB Willie Monggin Bicara Pasca PRU14 (Siri 2) 30th June (Sat night) Time: 7pm to 9.30 pm Function Room Samudera Inn, Jln Nanas, Kuching Dr Faisal and Puan Nurhanim Mokhsen   Forum Pasca PRU14 (Finale) Malaysia Baru; Adakah Rakyat Boss? 1st July 2021 (Sunday afternoon) Time: 2pm to 5.30 pm Pua Kumbu Function Room, Lot 10 Boutique Hotel, Jln Central, Kuching. Dr Faisal YB See Chee How YB Kelvin Yii         The Organizing Committee invites all members of the public to come and attend  any one OR all of the talks at the different locations. All 3 events will be conducted in BM and entry is FOC. If readers or members of the public have any inquiries they may email to my@sarawakrose.org or contact Ann at 016-8604998 ROSE is an NGO that was inspired and established four 4 years ago after  GE13 and led by ordinary people. Our vision is to build a society that engages and participates in the  democratic process - which is needed for the progress of the nation. Our tagline is “If not now, when; if not you then who?”. **********End statement****************** Dated 21st June 2018 Media Contact person : Ann Teo 016-8604998