- Title: Malaysian anti-government protesters and their opponents prepare for huge rally
- Date: 17th November 2016
- Summary: KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (NOVEMBER 8, 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** TRAFFIC NEAR MERDEKA SQUARE MERDEKA SQUARE CLOCK TOWER MERDEKA SQUARE WHERE PROTESTERS ARE SET TO GATHER ON NOVEMBER 19 KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (NOVEMBER 11, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT POSTERS BY ACTIVIST AND ARTIST FAHMI REZA THAT WILL BE DISPLAYED DURING THE PROTEST ON NOVEMBER 19 VARIOUS OF FAHMI WORKING ON WORKING ON A GIANT CARICATURE POSTER "GODFATHER OF KLEPTOCRACY" OF MALAYSIA PRIME MINISTER NAJIB RAZAK AS A CLOWN THAT WILL BE USED IN THE PROTEST (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTIVIST AND ARTIST FAHMI REZA SAYING: "I already came up with a new clown poster with the title "Godfather of Kleptocracy" especially for the upcoming Bersih 5 protest this week. I think in this country we still need social movements like Bersih as a platform for regular citizens like us to channel our protest and anger against this corrupt government." KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (NOVEMBER 14, 2016) (REUTERS) MERCHANDISE STORE OF PROTEST MOVEMENT BERSIH FLAG READING: "BERSIH" T-SHIRT READING: "5" MEN WALKING OUTSIDE FROM A MERCHANDISE STORE BERSIH OFFICE LEAFLETS AND CAMPAIGN MATERIAL BOOKS VARIOUS OF BERSIH CHAIRPERSON MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH SPEAKING TO HER STAFF T-SHIRT READING (Bahasa Malaysia): "BERSIH 5, WORK FOR A NEW MALAYSIA" CHIN SEATED (SOUNDBITE) (English) BERSIH CHAIRPERSON MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH SAYING: "We cannot stop because if we stop and we don't protest, then we can't have any say in any legislation, policies or laws that the parliament is going to pass." KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (NOVEMBER 8, 2016) (REUTERS) TRAFFIC SIGNBOARD READING (English): "DANG WANGI POLICE STATION" RED SHIRTS LEADER JAMAL YUNOS AND HIS SUPPORTERS WALKING OUT FROM POLICE STATION AFTER GIVING STATEMENT TO POLICE JAMAL STANDING JAMAL SPEAKING TO MEDIA T-SHIRT LOGO READING (Bahasa Malaysia): "RED RALLY VERSION 2.0, PROTECT THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY" (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Malaysia) RED SHIRTS LEADER JAMAL YUNOS SAYING: "It's what we have said from the very beginning - if there is no yellow, there will be no red, but if they insist on protesting, be ready to face us." KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (NOVEMBER 14, 2016) (REUTERS) TRAFFIC MALAYSIAN FLAG VARIOUS OF PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS
- Embargoed: 2nd December 2016 00:42
- Keywords: Malaysia Bersih protest 1MDB scandal Prime Minister Najib Razak
- Location: KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
- City: KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
- Country: Malaysia
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA00158TY6V9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Tens of thousands of Malaysians are set to gather on Saturday (November 19) for an anti-government rally in Kuala Kumpur to call for the ousting of Prime Minister Najib Razak in the wake of a multi-billion-dollar financial scandal.
The annual protest, in its fifth year on Saturday, is organised by pro-democracy group Bersih, which means "clean" in Malay.
Bersih 5 is calling for the resignation of Najib to facilitate a probe into a scandal involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state fund set up by the prime minister. 1MDB is currently the subject of money laundering investigations in at least six countries, including Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.
While Najib has denied any wrongdoing, he has taken steps that critics say are aimed at curbing discussion of the 1MDB scandal.
He sacked a deputy prime minister who was critical of him and replaced a former attorney-general, while authorities have suspended newspapers and blocked websites reporting on 1MDB. The government has also strengthened the Sedition Act and widened the use of tough media and secrets laws to stifle dissent.
Artist Fahmi Reza was charged in June of 'violating multimedia laws' under the Communications and Multimedia Act for his widely-shared clown-faced caricature of Najib. However, that hasn't deterred from making more posters.
"I already came up with a new clown poster with the title "Godfather of Kleptocracy" especially for the upcoming Bersih 5 protest this week. I think in this country we still need social movements like Bersih as a platform for regular citizens like us to channel our protest and anger against this corrupt government," Fahmi, who has yet to face trial, said.
Last month, Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah was arrested and detained by police in Sabah for distributing flyers promoting the group's rally on Saturday.
She has also received anonymous death threats but says she will not give in to threats of violence or pressure to call the rally off.
"We cannot stop because if we stop and we don't protest, then we can't have any say in any legislation, policies or laws that the parliament is going to pass," Chin said.
The rally has gained the support of former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad, who said that Malaysia is "facing a state of panic" in a video posted online on Wednesday (November 16).
Supporters of Najib, a group calling themselves the red shirts, have vowed not to let Bersih, with their signature yellow T-shirts, go ahead with the rally.
Leader Jamal Yunos, a member of Najib's ruling United Malays National Organisation party, was briefly detained last month for threatening a repeat of Malaysia's 1969 racial riots at the Bersih rally in a Facebook post last month, but he later denied making the comment.
"It's what we have said from the very beginning - if there is no yellow, there will be no red, but if they insist on protesting, be ready to face us," said Jamal.
More than 200,000 people turned out in Kuala Lumpur in August 2015 for a similar rally organized by Bersih.
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