Malaysiakini Letter

M’sians to rally in Australia in support of clean and fair polls in Malaysia

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia in Australia (SABM Australia)  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia in Australia (SABM Australia) president Praveen Nagappan confirmed today that SABM Australia will join the Malaysian electoral reform coalition Bersih 2.0 for its fifth mass demonstration to pressure authorities to reform the electoral system and press for greater accountability in the wake of overwhelming evidence pointing to corruption of a grand scale involving state investment firm, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

SABM Australia is launching the Bersih 5 campaign and is urging all Malaysians and Australian supporters to join SABM Australia’s Bersih 5 Rally in Melbourne on Nov 19, 2016. There will also be solidarity rallies held in Sydney, Canberra and Perth.

“SABM Australia will host its supporting rally on Nov 19 in Melbourne and join the hundreds of thousands of people in Malaysia and around the world to continue pressing Malaysian authorities to take steps to improve electoral governance in the country and to bring the perpetrators of financial crimes surrounding 1MDB to justice,” said Nagappan.

“The recent announcement by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) that it had filed a lawsuit seeking to seize US$1 billion in assets linked to 1MDB has cast a long shadow over the country,” said Nagappan.

“Despite there being overwhelming evidence pointing to corruption of a grand scale, institutions carrying out investigations domestically surrounding irregularities in the 1MDB saga seem unable to conclude that crime has been committed, let alone identify and prosecute the perpetrators. In contrast, internationally, institutions and individuals involved in facilitating these crimes are facing the music. This has caused many to lose faith in our domestic institutions,” Nagappan added.

On Nov 19, scores of Malaysians holding solidarity rallies in over 90 cities globally, will voice their support for the demands central to the fifth Bersih rally. SABM Australia’s similar rally at the Federation Square in Melbourne last August saw a gathering of 5000 people.

“Up to 1.4 million Malaysians are estimated to live overseas with Australia being home to the second largest Malaysian expatriate community after Singapore. Many of us, professionals, emigrated due to the deteriorating state of affairs in Malaysia over the years.

“Unfortunately, over the decades, matters have gotten far worse, to the point where billions of dollars are alleged to flow freely from the state’s coffers to that of politically exposed persons’ through numerous global financial institutions, Australian included,” said Nagappan

The Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Abdul Razak, has been battling accusations of corruption ever since it was revealed that almost US$700 million was deposited in his personal bank accounts prior to the last general election, allegedly diverted from 1MDB.

“Australians caught a glimpse of the Malaysian authorities’ attitude towards accountability when Australia’s ABC Four Corners crew had been detained by the Malaysian police earlier this year after trying to question Prime Minister Najib over the 1MDB scandal,” Nagappan added

“The objective of our rally is to demand for basic democratic rights which are taken for granted in mature democracies, including clean and fair elections, a clean government, strong parliamentary democracy, the right to dissent and just treatment for all Malaysians,” Nagappan added.

SAYA ANAK BANGSA MALAYSIA IN AUSTRALIA (SABM Australia) is a group of like-minded individuals of Malaysian origin based in Australia who advocate for enhanced governance in Malaysia.

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