31 August 2015
Weekend rallies that saw tens of thousands of people in the Malaysian capital demand the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak failed to draw ethnic Malays, indicating a funding scandal hasn’t spurred major dissent in the premier’s grassroots base.
Singing and chanting crowds estimated by organizers at 300,000 and by authorities to have reached 50,000 packed central Kuala Lumpur for two days, wearing yellow t-shirts emblazoned with the Malaysian word for “clean”. Organizers the coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, or Bersih, said about 30 percent of people were Malay, with the rally dominated by ethnic Chinese who have drifted from Najib’s ruling coalition in recent years.
Malays account for as much as 60 percent of the country’s 30 million people, though estimates vary, and are the cornerstone of Najib’s United Malays National Organisation.
… “The Bersih rally is more symbolic in nature,” said Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman, coordinator of the Malaysia Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “It was important for the opposition to show strength.”
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015