Bersih plans overnight rally in August to demand Najib's resignation

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (left) at an event on July 8, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Electoral reforms group Bersih will take to the streets in an overnight rally on Aug 29 to demand Prime Minister Najib Razak's resignation, accusing him of blocking avenues to uncovering the truth behind debt-laden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Bersih, which brought more than 100,000 people to protest against alleged electoral irregularities in 2011 and 2012, said in a statement on Wednesday (July 29) that the removal of Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail on Tuesday is "direct interference" in an ongoing high-level probe into 1MDB - whose advisory board is headed by Datuk Seri Najib.

"Najib has virtually ruled out all possibilites for truth on the 1MDB scandal to be unearthed and criminals to be brought to justice by a series of political moves on July 27 and 28," it said in a draft statement obtained by The Straits Times.

"The removal of the AG is a direct interference in the AG Chamber's work and is meant as a warning signal to the other three agencies: the Police, Bank Negara and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission," it added.

The four agencies form a Special Task Force that has raided several offices and arrested at least five individuals since the Wall Street Journal on July 3 alleged that US$700 million (S$957 million) linked to 1MDB was deposited into Mr Najib's accounts in the past two years.

The Prime Minister has denied using state funds for personal gain but has not clarified if he received the money or not.

Bersih is holding a press conference at 2pm on Wednesday to announce its plans.

It said the "co-optation of four out of 13 members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into the administration... are Najib's unscrupulous plot to disable PAC, the only other public institution which is pursuing the 1MDB scandal with the support of the Auditor General's Office".

It called the acceptance of executive appointments by the bipartisan parliamentary panel's chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed and his three colleagues "a betrayal of the public trust on PAC to act on 1MDB".

Bersih demanded that Mr Najib make public his bank account details, and take leave as the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and from all other public offices he holds pending investigation. It also called for a freeze of his family's bank accounts and all findings by investigators into 1MDB to be made public as soon as possible.

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