Malaysia po­lice re­lease anti-PM protest leader

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Malaysian po­lice yes­ter­day freed the head of a pro-democ­racy group which or­ga­nized a mass rally call­ing on Prime Min­is­ter Na­jib Razak to re­sign over a mas­sive cor­rup­tion scan­dal. Maria Chin Ab­dul­lah, chair of the pro-re­form NGO al­liance “Ber­sih”, was de­tained on Novem­ber 18 on the eve of the rally and kept in soli­tary con­fine­ment. Her ar­rest un­der a law de­signed to com­bat ter­ror­ism sparked in­ter­na­tional crit­i­cism in­clud­ing from the US State De­part­ment. De­spite her ar­rest, some 20,000 Malaysians clad in the yel­low of the re­formist Ber­sih cam­paign flooded Kuala Lumpur for the sec­ond time in 15 months. They were vent­ing anger over al­le­ga­tions that bil­lions of dol­lars were stolen from state in­vest­ment fund 1MDB, Na­jib’s brain­child. “Chin has been freed. She is cheerful,” her lawyer Gurdial Singh Ni­jar said. “The po­lice freed her be­cause they have no grounds for her de­ten­tion.” Chin could not be reached for comment but was ex­pected to ad­dress her sup­port­ers at In­de­pen­dence Square. They have been hold­ing nightly vig­ils de­mand­ing her free­dom.

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