Pressure mounts on Najib on second day of Malaysia protests

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KL_protestsMalaysian protesters on August 30 continued  with the second day of a huge anti-government rally in the capital Kuala Lumpur, chanting slogans and defiantly wearing the yellow T-shirts that the government had said were banned. The activists carry on demanding the resignation of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak over a multi-million-dollar financial scandal, their spirits lifted by unexpected support from Malaysia’s longest-serving previous leader, Mahatir Mohamad.

Security remained tight and anti-riot trucks stood ready. The first day passed without reports of violence and the rally resumed in a festive mood on the following day with group exercises, a mass at the city cathedral and interfaith prayers.

Crowds have been as large as 25,000, according to police. The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, or Bersih, has estimated that as many as 250,000 people attended its third major rally since Najib came to power in 2009.

Authorities have no plan to disperse the crowds although they did not issue a protest permit to organiser Bersih. The rally is scheduled to run until close to midnight before Independence Day begins on August 31. Besides banning the yellow T-shirts, the authorities had blocked websites linked to the rally.

Najib complained that the protesters are ruining Malaysia’s reputation abroad and are making the already dire economic situation worse. The prime minister retains significant support from the long-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition and his dominant party, UMNO. However, acceptance for the coalition, in power since 1957,is dwindling. It lost the popular vote for the first time in 2013 to an opposition alliance that split earlier this year. The next general elections in Malaysia are due in August 2018.

See Twitter reactions (compiled by Justin Calderon):

bersih1
Protestors express that the future of Malaysia is at stake
bersih2
Although the majority of protesters have been ethnic Chinese, a larger than expected number of Muslim Malays has also joined the chorus of demonstrations
bersih6
The scene has been compared to the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong by Channel News Asia’s Malaysia bureau chief, Melissa Goh
bersih3
Protesters continue with peaceful demonstrations on the morning of August 30
bersih4
Former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir made a surprise appearance at the rally on August 29 with his wife.
bersih5
Foreigners also participated in the protests

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysian protesters on August 30 continued  with the second day of a huge anti-government rally in the capital Kuala Lumpur, chanting slogans and defiantly wearing the yellow T-shirts that the government had said were banned. The activists carry on demanding the resignation of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak over a multi-million-dollar financial scandal, their spirits lifted by unexpected support from Malaysia’s longest-serving previous leader, Mahatir Mohamad.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

KL_protestsMalaysian protesters on August 30 continued  with the second day of a huge anti-government rally in the capital Kuala Lumpur, chanting slogans and defiantly wearing the yellow T-shirts that the government had said were banned. The activists carry on demanding the resignation of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak over a multi-million-dollar financial scandal, their spirits lifted by unexpected support from Malaysia’s longest-serving previous leader, Mahatir Mohamad.

Security remained tight and anti-riot trucks stood ready. The first day passed without reports of violence and the rally resumed in a festive mood on the following day with group exercises, a mass at the city cathedral and interfaith prayers.

Crowds have been as large as 25,000, according to police. The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, or Bersih, has estimated that as many as 250,000 people attended its third major rally since Najib came to power in 2009.

Authorities have no plan to disperse the crowds although they did not issue a protest permit to organiser Bersih. The rally is scheduled to run until close to midnight before Independence Day begins on August 31. Besides banning the yellow T-shirts, the authorities had blocked websites linked to the rally.

Najib complained that the protesters are ruining Malaysia’s reputation abroad and are making the already dire economic situation worse. The prime minister retains significant support from the long-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition and his dominant party, UMNO. However, acceptance for the coalition, in power since 1957,is dwindling. It lost the popular vote for the first time in 2013 to an opposition alliance that split earlier this year. The next general elections in Malaysia are due in August 2018.

See Twitter reactions (compiled by Justin Calderon):

bersih1
Protestors express that the future of Malaysia is at stake
bersih2
Although the majority of protesters have been ethnic Chinese, a larger than expected number of Muslim Malays has also joined the chorus of demonstrations
bersih6
The scene has been compared to the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong by Channel News Asia’s Malaysia bureau chief, Melissa Goh
bersih3
Protesters continue with peaceful demonstrations on the morning of August 30
bersih4
Former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir made a surprise appearance at the rally on August 29 with his wife.
bersih5
Foreigners also participated in the protests

 

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