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Malaysia Anti-Gov’t Rally Enters 2nd Day
International

Malaysia Anti-Gov’t Rally Enters 2nd Day

Crowds of yellow-clad Malaysians demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak converged on central Kuala Lumpur again on Sunday, a day after tens of thousands paralyzed the capital in a peaceful demonstration.
The two-day rally, one of Malaysia’s largest in years, has been largely incident-free despite police declaring it illegal, blocking the organizers’ website and banning their official yellow t-shirt and logo, AFP reported.
Initial crowds appeared smaller than Saturday, when police said 29,000 had gathered, while the rally’s organizers, electoral-reform pressure group Bersih, said 200,000 had turned out.
The rally got a shot in the arm late Saturday when 90-year-old former premier Mahathir Mohamad made a brief appearance.
Mahathir, who did not address the crowd, has led calls for Najib’s ouster, accusing him of corruption and misgovernance.
Previous Bersih rallies have ended in clashes with police, most recently in 2012, but both the security forces and protesters have exercised restraint.
Najib has been fighting for his political survival since The Wall Street Journal last month published Malaysian documents showing nearly $700 million had been mysteriously deposited in his personal bank accounts since 2013.
His cabinet ministers call the transfers “political donations” from unidentified Middle Eastern sources, refusing to give details. The accounts have been closed and the fate of the money has not been explained.
Demonstrators called for the premier’s resignation over the scandal and accusations of economic mismanagement, while also railing against a new consumption tax and Malaysia’s electoral system.
In late July, he sacked or reassigned officials and parliamentarians who were probing the scandals, leaving the future of investigations uncertain.

 

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