Kuala Lumpur awash in yellow during anti-government protest

2015-08-29 12:18
Kuala Lumpur rally (AP)

Kuala Lumpur rally (AP)

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Kuala Lumpur - A sea of yellow deluged central Kuala Lumpur on Saturday as thousands of demonstrators demanded the resignation of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak for alleged corruption.

The protesters ignoring both a ban on the public rally and a government order issued the day before prohibiting people from wearing yellow clothing.

Yellow is the symbol of the Bersih coalition of civic groups advocating electoral reform and good governance.

The protesters filled several streets in the capital as officials barred them from gathering in a large open park.

"We will not be cowed," said Amir, a student who joined the protest with several friends. "It's time we stand up for our country."

Seva Ganesh, an information technology worker, marched with another group of protesters to show her disappointment in the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

"He [Najib] has to step down," she said, adding that the premier's explanation over the millions of dollars of his cash hoard was "lame and unbelievable".

"My Prime Minister Embarrases Me," read one slogan.

Another protester sat on the street carrying a strip of carton with the words: "I have no money to print banner please donate $2.6bn to me," an apparent reference to the amount Najib received allegedly as political donations.

Najib has been under attack, even from within his ruling party, since a July report in the Wall Street Journal suggested that $673m in his accounts had been misappropriated from a state development fund.

The government denied the accusations, and said the money came from donations by unidentified sources in the Middle East.

Thousands of police officers backed up by government militias kept a close watch on the protesters.

National police chief Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar insisted the rally was illegal because it was not granted permit by city officials.

Najib, meeting with members of his party in the town of Jerantut outside Kuala Lumpur, described the protesters as lacking in patriotism for holding the rally so close to the celebration of the country's independence day on Monday, state media reported.

"Don't they understand, are they that shallow and poor in their patriotism and love for their motherland?" Bernama quoted Najib as saying.

"Don't they understand the country was built on the blood and sweat of our freedom fighters?"

Similar demonstrations were being held simultaneously in the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak as well as in cities around the world with significant Malaysian populations, according to Maria Chin Abdullah, the chairperson of Bersih.

Read more on:    malaysia

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