This year, Bersih is demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is being implicated in a corruption scandal.
“Hopefully the prime minister will step down, let others to join up to lead us Malaysia to a better future”.
He fired his deputy prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, for criticising his handling of the affair, and also the attorney general, Abdul Gani Patail, who was leading the investigation into the scandal.
The rally was scheduled to last until midnight Sunday to usher in Malaysia’s 58th National Day.
The group is calling for Najib to step down and for a series of institutional reforms they say would make the government more transparent and accountable.
While rally organizers claim Saturday’s turnout was 200,000, police said the crowd was well under 30,000. The protests have been largely incident-free despite police declaring it illegal and tightening security. Authorities have blocked their website and banned their official yellow T-shirt and logo. The thousands of yellow-clad protesters, who slept on the streets near the city’s Independence Square, had woken on Sunday to mass exercises and a resumption of the previous day’s peaceful demonstration.
Respected former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is spearheading the push to oust Najib, has muddied the waters by calling for a “people power” style movement.
Malaysia’s massive Bersih rally over the weekend reminded us of the colors used by protesters across Southeast Asia to symbolize and articulate their political demands in their respective countries. “We will comply with the police on whatever is needed”, he said.
Mr Najib has been fighting for political survival after leaked documents in July showed he received some $700 million in his private accounts from entities linked to indebted state fund 1MDB.
In clearing Najib of any wrongdoing, the country’s corruption watchdog said the payments had been made by an anonymous Middle Eastern donor.
“This is what awaits Malaysia because of Najib”.
It comes as Malaysian officers warned that the organisers behind the protest would face authorized motion in the event that they “dared to interrupt the regulation”. State media agency Bernama on Saturday reported Mr. Najib as saying the protesters are “shallow and poor in their patriotism and love for their motherland” for holding the demonstration so close to the country’s independence day on Monday.
The anti-graft motion Transparency Worldwide referred to as on the Malaysian governmentto respect the suitable of residents to show peacefully with out worry of reprisal. “The people as a whole do not want this kind of corrupt leader”, he said.
Most Malays, nevertheless, feel this institutionalised favouritism is still necessary, and vote UMNO to protect it _ while a majority of Chinese and Indian Malaysians undoubtedly feel that half a century of extra privileges for Malays is enough. Mahathir’s attendance at the demonstration will likely raise the pressure on Najib, who came to power in 2009 only after Mahathir engineered the ousting of his own chosen successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.