Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Malaysian opposition parties say would join Bersih 5 rally

KAJANG — Opposition leaders have expressed support for a Bersih 5 rally mooted in response to US authorities’ bid to seize over US$1 billion (S$1.36 billion) in assets allegedly obtained using funds misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Malaysian opposition parties say would join Bersih 5 rally

Protesters listen to speechs during a rally organised by pro-democracy group "Bersih" in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 30, 2015. Photo: Reuters

KAJANG — Opposition leaders have expressed support for a Bersih 5 rally mooted in response to US authorities’ bid to seize over US$1 billion (S$1.36 billion) in assets allegedly obtained using funds misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali concurred with electoral watchdog group Bersih 2.0 that the development in the US merited a response by Malaysian citizens to demonstrate their displeasure with the government.

“Yes, we will discuss that. This is the right time to mobilise all the support among the civil societies, political parties and also citizens of Malaysia,” he told reporters when met at the sidelines of an open house here.

“This is a real issue that can bring us together for the next elections. We will discuss that in the next meeting with the civil societies,” Mr Azmin said.

PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the opposition would back the latest Bersih gathering as it has always done, adding that the underlying demands for free and fair elections that formed the basis of previous editions were never met.

However, she cautioned that the rally should not be an end unto itself and stressed that it was more vital that the public be made to understand the severity of the controversy surrounding the state-owned investment firm.

The federal opposition leader complained that media coverage of the issue has been inadequate, which she said most affected those without to access to the Internet, and that it was imperative to inform them of the full extent of the matter.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke said his party was open to participating as long as it was invited by Bersih 2.0.

“We will mobilise people as necessary if we decided to go ahead with it,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted on Saturday (July 23).

Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) communications director Khalid Samad urged the organiser to ensure the participation of as many kindred groups as possible, including a proposed new party by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The Shah Alam MP added that Amanah would fully support the rally if officially invited and ensure maximum participation.

“The rally this time has moved beyond just free elections. There are bigger more pressing matters that needs to be addressed. This is vital now, after the US Department of Justice lawsuit,” Mr Khalid explained.

Bersih 2.0 on Friday said another edition of its iconic rallies would “very likely” be held to protest against Malaysian government leaders after the civil lawsuit filed by US authorities to seize the assets linked to 1MDB funds.

The US Justice Department filed the civil lawsuit Wednesday, which it described as the largest case ever brought by the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

US prosecutors said more than US$3.5 billion in 1MDB funds were allegedly misappropriated by high-level officials of the local state investment firm and their associates between 2009 and 2015.

The funds allegedly embezzled and laundered into the US were purportedly used to buy luxury properties in New York, Los Angeles and London, paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, a US$35 million jet, as well as to pay for gambling debts in Las Vegas.

The Bersih rallies trace back to 2007 and have eventful records. The first three saw clashes between police and attendees although the last in August 2015 took place across several days in the city without any violence. THE MALAY MAIL ONLINE

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa