Malaysian students out to 'catch MO1' in 1MDB saga

A student activist sports his message on a headband before the march calling for the arrest of "Malaysian Official 1" in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
A student activist sports his message on a headband before the march calling for the arrest of "Malaysian Official 1" in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.PHOTO: REUTERS

Protesters rally in KL for arrest of unnamed govt official implicated in state fund scandal

Malaysian students took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur yesterday to "catch" the unnamed government official implicated as a recipient of billions of ringgit believed to belong to state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The rally was dubbed #tangkap- MO1, or catch MO1, which is short for Malaysian Official 1, cited by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in a civil forfeiture suit filed last month.

The DOJ has described MO1 as "a high-ranking official in the Malaysian government who also held a position of authority with 1MDB".

Held just days before the country marks its Independence Day on Wednesday, the rally saw a turnout of about 2,000, according to the police, though its organisers put the number at 7,000, half of them students.

"We youngsters are standing up for justice… The ball is in the authorities' court now to bring him (MO1) to face justice," said 22-year-old engineering student Sharan Raj, who was among those leading the protest.

The protesters made effigies of the unnamed official and two others named in the civil suit - Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho and Prime Minister Najib Razak's stepson Riza Aziz - which were put in a mock prison.

The protesters marched in the streets chanting "Catch MO1" and "Catch the thief", accompanied by a small marching band.

The rally was supported by members of opposition parties and also electoral reform group Bersih.

As it drew to a close, Ms Anis Syafiqah Mohd Yusof, speaking for the students, said: "We want to help the authorities who are supposed to catch criminals. This includes the biggest thief of all, who has robbed us all through 1MDB's funds."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 28, 2016, with the headline 'Students out to 'catch MO1' in 1MDB saga'. Print Edition | Subscribe