Nationwide campaign to ‘oust Malaysian PM’
MALAYSIA’S leading protest group announced yesterday a seven-week roadshow capped by a November 19 rally in the capital to demand the scandal-tainted prime minister’s resignation.
The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, which held a huge twoday demonstration last year seeking Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ouster over corruption allegations, said the nationwide action beginning October 1 was in response to the “magnitude” of a stunning graft scandal.
Mr Najib is clinging to power despite increasingly damaging allegations that he took part in the looting of billions in state funds.
“We cannot have a prime minister who steals money from the rakyat [people]. That cannot happen in this country,” the coalition’s chair Maria Chin Abdullah said.
The independent alliance of NGOs and civil-society groups, commonly known as Bersih, the Malay word for “clean”, has staged four major demonstrations since 2007 to demand electoral and government reforms.
Bersih accuses the government, in power since independence in 1957, of systematic corruption, election abuses and repressing dissent.
The US Justice Department filed lawsuits in the United States in July alleging a massive international conspiracy by Mr Najib’s relatives and associates to steal billions from state investment fund 1MDB.
US authorities have moved to seize assets including real estate in Beverly Hills, New York and London, artworks, a jet and corporate stakes which they allege were purchased with stolen 1MDB money.
The US suits also accused an unnamed “Malaysian Official 1” with diverting huge sums. A Malaysian government minister has since acknowledged that “Malaysian Official 1” was Mr Najib. –
Maria Chin Abdullah (second left), chair of in the local Malay language – poses with