KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16 — Several hundred people, dressed in white T-shirts with the words “fight corruption”, gathered at the Kampung Baru Jamek Mosque in the city this afternoon in a show of unhappiness towards the federal Madani government led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The gathering, organised by an umbrella group of Malay Muslims backed by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal Opposition coalition, falls on the 60th Malaysia Day to commemorate the country’s founding in 1963.
Cries of “reformati” — a derogatory word-play on Pakatan Harapan’s famous slogan “reformasi” meant to suggest the agenda for reform is now dead — fill the air as the demonstrators who are largely young men and whose numbers are growing, started marching towards Dang Wangi initially, before heading towards the Sogo shopping centre on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
Police personnel are keeping a close watch on the demonstrators but the moving assembly has been peaceful so far.
Police have blocked off several roads in the city centre to motorists, including Jalan Raja Abdullah and Jalan Doraisamy, to facilitate the march.
The rally was called to protest the recent discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who was being tried on 47 graft charges of misappropriating RM31 million belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi, a charitable organisation he founded.
Several groups under the Islamist coalition Ummah and its allied student group Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam Se-Malaysia (Gamis) and Perkasa who claimed to be organising the rally, have touted it as necessary to “Save Malaysia”.
They claimed Zahid’s discharge was the result of political tampering.
The DNAA however means Zahid has not been cleared and can still face trial again for the same 47 charges at a later date.
MORE TO COME