Malaysian protesters march against Prime Minister Najib

Source: Reuters

By Rozanna Latiff and Praveen Menon | KUALA LUMPUR
Pro-democracy group Bersih stage 1MDB protest, calling for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to resign, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia November 19, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Pro-democracy group Bersih stage 1MDB protest, calling for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to resign, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia November 19, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su

19 Nov 2016. Tens of thousands of protesters, undeterred by the arrests of opposition leaders, marched in Malaysia’s capital on Saturday demanding that Prime Minister Najib Razak step down.

Protesters clad in yellow shirts marched through the heart of Kuala Lumpur bringing traffic to a standstill in several tourist spots, wrapping up peacefully in front of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers after an initial plan to assemble at Independence Square was thwarted by police.

Najib has faced criticism since the Wall Street Journal reported last year that around $700 million from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was diverted into the personal bank account of the prime minister.

Najib ran into further trouble when lawsuits filed by the U.S. Justice Department in July said over $3.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB, which was founded by Najib, and that some of those funds flowed into the accounts of “Malaysian Official 1”, whom U.S. and Malaysian officials have identified as Najib.

The demonstration is unlikely to shake the prime minister, who has denied wrongdoing and weathered the crisis, consolidating power by cracking down on dissenters.

Eleven activists and opposition leaders were arrested on Friday and at least two more were detained at the rally. The deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said there could be more arrests in the coming days. Read more

Bersih 5 rally sees increased Malay participation

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Yasri Said (far left) from Kedah with his family at the Bersih 5 rally today. ― Picture by Yiswaree Palansamy

Yasri Said (far left) from Kedah with his family at the Bersih 5 rally today. ― Picture by Yiswaree Palansamy

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — The Bersih 5 rally this time around witnessed participation by tens of thousands of Malaysians — with a visibly higher increase of demonstrators from the Malay community.

Most appeared to be members of PAS splinter; Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) and supporters of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

However, there was also an increase in the number of Malay youths who turned up in droves to take to the streets to voice their dissatisfaction with the Barisan Nasional-led government.

Despite the rally still being dominated by the ethnic-Chinese, the increased turnout from the Malay community was evident today. Read more

Peguam terkejut Maria ditahan di bawah Sosma

Sumber: FMT News

Aktivis hak asasi manusia berkata pengerusi Bersih itu tidak ada kaitan dengan pengganas atau keganasan.

Bersih 2.0’s chairman Maria Chin Abdullah— Picture by Saw Siow Feng, taken from Malay Mail Online.

Bersih 2.0’s chairman Maria Chin Abdullah— Picture by Saw Siow Feng, taken from Malay Mail Online.

PETALING JAYA: Peguam Pengerusi Bersih 2.0 Maria Chin Abdullah terkejut apabila mendapat tahu beliau ditahan di bawah Akta Kesalahan Keselamatan (Langkah-Langkah Khas).

Pengarah Eksekutif Lawyers for Liberty Eric Paulsen tergamam apabila diberitahu mengenai penggunaan undang-undang keselamatan itu: “Sosma tidak sepatutnya digunakan terhadap orang seperti Maria. Beliau sebahagian daripada demokrasi dan tidak ada kaitan dengan pengganas atau keganasan,” katanya.

Beliau merujuk kepada menteri Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz dalam perbahasan Parlimen yang berkata undang-undang itu digunakan terhadap kumpulan pengganas Al Maunah, pemberontakan dan perang gerila.

Menurut Paulsen, beliau diyakinkan oleh pegawai penyiasat semalam bahawa Maria ketika ditahan tidak disiasat di bawah Sosma.

“Tiba-tiba saya dihalang daripada bertemu Maria. Mereka tangguh-tangguh, tiada siapa mahu bertanggungjawab. Kemudian saya buat beberapa panggilan dan mendapati beliau disiasat di bawah Sosma dan oleh sebab itu saya tak boleh berjumpa dengannya.”

Tempoh tahanan reman biasa lazimnya 24 jam tetapi boleh dilanjutkan bergantung kepada tahap kesalahan sekiranya siasatan tidak boleh diselesaikan dalam masa 24 jam.

Sosma membenarkan penahanan 28 hari tanpa bicara.

Paulsen menyifatkan penahanan seperti itu ke atas Maria sebagai “sangat berat”.

Maria dan urusetia Bersih Mandeep Singh ditahan pada Khamis selepas serbuan ke atas pejabat gabungan itu di Petaling Jaya. Read more

UN expert slams pre-Bersih 5 arrests

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on assembly and association criticised today the arrests of 10 activists ahead of the Bersih 5 rally. — file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on assembly and association criticised today the arrests of 10 activists ahead of the Bersih 5 rally.

Maina Kiai said the “pre-emptive restriction of assembly rights” was counterproductive for Malaysia, its citizens and the ruling party.

“Malaysia — and indeed all countries — need a safety valve in situations where there is growing frustration and anger. How else can a government put its hand on the pulse of the people?” he said in a brief statement.

A Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council. The Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association monitors and reports on the rights to peaceful assembly and of association worldwide.

Some nine activists and pro-Bersih politicians were arrested last night ahead of the Bersih 5 street demonstration this morning, including polls reform group Bersih 2.0 head Maria Chin Abdullah. Read more