KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian protesters staged a rally in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (Aug 27), calling on authorities to take action against an official linked to the corruption scandal surrounding the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund.
The "#TangkapMO1" rally was called to urge authorities to arrest “Malaysian Official 1”, an unidentified high ranking official mentioned in the United States Department of Justice’s (DoJ) civil lawsuit last month.
The lawsuit had alleged that the official had received US$700 million (S$951 million) of the money laundered out of the state fund, which is overseen by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Many of those who turned up for the rally, which was organised by a coalition of Malaysian student groups, were students and opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Parti Amanah Negara supporters. Organisers estimated some 7,000 people had turned up for the rally.
Clad in black and white T-shirts, the protesters set off for the march to Dataran Merdeka at about 2.45pm as they chanted "Hidup Hidup, Hidup Rakyat", after gathering at Kuala Lumpur’s Masjid Negara and the Sogo shopping complex.
Among those in attendance were Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah, activist Hishamuddin Rais, Amanah Member of Parliament Khalid Samad as well as Malaysian writer and poet A. Samad Said.
Heavy security presence was seen at the rally’s two starting points as well as at the area around Dataran Merdeka, where the protesters gathered after ending their march.
The police had previously warned organisers against staging the rally on the square grounds, with barricades set up around the square to ensure the protesters steered clear.
Mr Najib, who headed the state fund’s advisory board until its dissolution in May, has faced public pressure over the 1MDB scandal.