Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian civilians protest against Prime Minister Najib Razak has entered its second day. The protesters are demanding his resignation over a financial scandal and are also demanding a constitutional reform.
The protests, organised by civil rights group Bersih, started on Saturday morning in three Malaysian cities — Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
Authorities estimated the crowd size on Saturday at around 29,000 people, but Bersih organisers said 200,000 took part, Channel News Asia reported.
Protestors said they would continue to occupy the streets until just before midnight.
Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad made a surprise appearance late Saturday, urging the cheering protestors to “carry on”. He has backed calls for Najib to quit.
Najib is accused of siphoning $700 million from a sovereign wealth fund into his personal accounts. The prime minister has denied the claims.
The rally has been declared illegal by Najib’s government and the police.
“Those who wear this yellow attire… want to discredit our good name, scribble black coal on Malaysia’s face to the outside world,” state-run news agency Bernama quoted the prime minister as saying.
A spokesman for Wickremesinghe said he was expected to form a Cabinet in the coming days, with priority given to the 2019 budget, without which foreign debt servicing may not be possible.
Sri Lanka had been braced for a government shutdown as parliament failed to approve spending for 2019, and ratings agencies downgraded the country’s credit rating amid fears of a sovereign debt default. (VOA)