Malaysians to protest against scan­dal-tainted prime min­is­ter

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A MALAYSIAN group that has staged huge po­lit­i­cal demon­stra­tions in the past will hold an­other rally in Novem­ber to protest against the scan­dal­tainted prime min­is­ter, its chair said yes­ter­day.

Demon­stra­tors will de­mand the res­ig­na­tion of Na­jib Razak, who is un­der fire over his al­leged in­volve­ment in the loot­ing of bil­lions of dol­lars in state funds.

A date for the Novem­ber rally will be an­nounced on Septem­ber 14, said Maria Chin Ab­dul­lah, chair of the Coali­tion for Clean and Fair Elec­tions.

The group, an al­liance of NGOs and civil-so­ci­ety groups com­monly known as “Ber­sih”, the Malay word for “clean”, is the coun­try’s most prom­i­nent po­lit­i­cal pres­sure group and pre­vi­ous ral­lies have ended with demon­stra­tors clash­ing with po­lice.

In 2015, it drew tens of thou­sands of peo­ple to peace­ful demon­stra­tions in Kuala Lumpur and other lo­ca­tions to de­mand Mr Na­jib’s re­moval over the spec­tac­u­lar cor­rup­tion scan­dal, shut­ting down the cap­i­tal for two days.

“We will def­i­nitely have Ber­sih 5 in Novem­ber,” Ms Chin told news web­site Malaysi­akini.

Mr Na­jib has so far fended off calls to an­swer al­le­ga­tions that bil­lions were looted from a state-owned in­vest­ment fund he founded.

Mr Na­jib and the fund, 1Malaysia De­vel­op­ment Ber­had (1MDB), deny any wrong­do­ing.

But the US Jus­tice Depart­ment filed law­suits in the US in July al­leg­ing a mas­sive in­ter­na­tional con­spir­acy by Mr Na­jib’s rel­a­tives and as­so­ciates to steal bil­lions from 1MDB.

Although the suits did not name Mr Na­jib out­right, they ef­fec­tively ac­cused him in the fil­ing which de­scribes how “Malaysian Of­fi­cial 1”, fam­ily mem­bers, and close as­so­ciates di­verted bil­lions from the fund.

Ber­sih was first formed to press for re­form of Malaysia’s elec­toral sys­tem, which crit­ics say is bi­ased in favour of the long-rul­ing coali­tion gov­ern­ment now headed by Mr Na­jib, but has in­creas­ingly taken up other is­sues as well. –

Photo: EPA

Maria Chin Ab­dul­lah says the rally will be held in Novem­ber.

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