Opposition lawmakers including leader Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng marched from Dataran Merdeka towards the Parliament building this morning, calling on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to resign.
They were seen holding a banner written with the prime minister’s legal name “Mahiaddin,” and were marching along with the media scrum and giving short speeches in between while being monitored by police, including those from the riot unit. The demonstration, which lasted about an hour, took place as parliament was suspended today due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Subang MP Wong Chen said: “Anwar has directed all Opposition MPs to end the march. He noted that what the government has done today is unconstitutional and that today, 107 MPs in the Opposition are united.”
Demonstrators chanted phrases like “reformasi (reform),” “hidup rakyat (live for the people),” and “Daulat Tuanku (long live the king).”
Before the march began, Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii shared photos online showing roads being blocked near Parliament.
“Roads to Parliament are closed #occupyParliament” he said, adding that the police have asked Members of Parliament to disperse or risk police action. Parliamentarians then moved to Dataran Merdeka, he said. Ex-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad joined them there and said a few words to the press before the march began.
Wong also said on his social media that “MPs from PKR, DAP, Amanah, Warisan, Pejuang, Muda and UPKO are here. The political leaders of each party are delivering short speeches. A press statement will be issued later” and “opposition MPs are marching towards Parliament and the FRU has been mobilised to stop the march.”
The FRU refers to the Federal Reserve Unit. It is a riot control force and a paramilitary special response team that can be deployed at any time to engage in any emergency or public unrest in Malaysia.
Today’s parliament session was postponed after several COVID-19 were detected there. The outbreak was announced Thursday, just as parliamentarians were debating emergency ordinances that had been revoked without royal approval.
The lower parliament house has since been ordered shut for two weeks but this did not sit well with the opposition, claiming that the government was using everything in its arsenal to keep Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in power.
This story is developing and may be updated without notice.
This article, Malaysia’s anti-Muhyiddin politicians take to the streets, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.