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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 12:15 PM | 06-09-2015

Protests against Malaysian PM persist

Thousands of Malaysian demonstrators turned central Kuala Lumpur yellow for a second straight day Sunday (6 Sept 2015) with a rally demanding the prime minister’s resignation over a corruption scandal, as the government threatened action against organizers.

The two-day rally, one of Malaysia’s largest in years, has been mostly incident-free even though police declared it illegal, blocked the organizers’ website and banned their official bright yellow T-shirt and logo.

According to AFP, thousands awoke from a night camping out near the capital’s Independence Square and were soon joined by tens of thousands more as a carnival-like mix of speeches, sing-a-longs, prayer and ubiquitous selfies resumed.

The numbers did not quite appear to match Saturday’s, when organizers -- electoral-reform activist group Bersih (the Malay word for Clean) -- said 200,000 turned out, while police put the number at 29,000.

Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi, who also is home minister in charge of domestic security, warned organizers face possible charges under assembly, sedition and other laws.

“We also follow every word they say, we know the actions taken by them,” he was quoted saying by state media.

Prime Minister Najib Razak is under fierce political pressure after the Wall Street Journal last month published Malaysian documents showing nearly $700 million had been deposited into his personal bank accounts since 2013.

His cabinet ministers have called the transfers “political donations” from unidentified Middle Eastern sources. But the accounts have been closed and the fate of the money is undisclosed.

Najib denies all wrongdoing, alleging a “political conspiracy” to topple him.

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