Reuters demonizes Malaysian protesters as anti-government

Thousands of anti-government protesters are expected to gather in Malaysia’s capital on Saturday to demand the resignation of scandal-tainted Prime Minister Najib Razak, despite the arrest of activists and opposition leaders just hours before the rally.The demonstration is unlikely to shake Najib, who has denied wrongdoing and weathered the crisis, consolidating power by cracking down on dissenters and curbing media groups and activists.Maria Chin Abdullah, the chairperson of the election reform group Bersih, which drew about 200,000 people to the streets in a similar protest last year, was arrested on Friday.At least five opposition leaders and student activists were also picked up by the police.But the group said the protest would go on.In a speech uploaded on his website on Friday, Najib said the protesters were “a tool of the opposition”.”Their movement is deceitful. It is clear that these street protests are in fact the opposition disguised as an independent NGO working to unseat a democratically elected government,” said Najib, who is in Peru to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.The activist group has also called for rallies in the cities of Kota Kinabalu and Kuching on the Malaysian side of Borneo.Fear is mounting of clashes between Bersih and a pro-Najib group called Red Shirts, who are also holding demonstrations and have threatened to target Bersih supporters. Some Red Shirts leaders have also been arrested.

Source: Thousands expected at Malaysian anti-government rally despite arrests | Reuters

Tagged , , , ,