KUALA LUMPUR: Hundreds of Malaysians rallied in the capital on Saturday, demanding the country’s powerful anti-graft chief resign over a stock trading controversy where he owned millions of...
KUALA LUMPUR: Hundreds of Malaysians rallied in the capital on Saturday, demanding the country’s powerful anti-graft chief resign over a stock trading controversy where he owned millions of shares.
Wearing masks and shouting "reject corruption", the mostly black-clad crowd of about two hundred called for immediate action against Azam Baki, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission’s (MACC) top official.
Protests in the Southeast Asian nation have been rare since the beginning of the pandemic due to virus curbs and fears of infection.
But public anger over corruption has previously led to mass demonstrations and election upsets, with the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal contributing to the longest-governing coalition’s downfall in 2018.
Azam, a key investigator into the former regime’s looting of the 1MDB state fund, has been under scrutiny for weeks over allegations of improper proxy trading after he admitted to letting his brother use his account.
Azam has denied any wrongdoing, while Malaysia’s securities regulator said this week that he had control of his account at the time of the trades, clearing him.
But that has not appeased the public.
"We have come because we cannot allow the practice of corruption to continue," Mohamad Zawawi Ishak, 29, told AFP as a crowd massed in front of a city train station at about 11:00 am (0800 GMT).
"In the fight against corruption, whoever is corrupt, we have to fight." Sivaranjani Manickam, 41, said the government was encouraging more corruption by not punishing Azam.