KUALA LUMPUR: The #TangkapMalaysianOfficial1 rally ended peacefully after a crowd of protesters gathered in the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka for over two hours.
Chants of “tangkap”, “Hidup Hidup, Hidup Rakyat” and even “Bebaskan Anwar” were heard throughout the street protest as demonstrators, clad in black and white, began marching from the Sogo shopping complex and the National Mosque from 2pm yesterday.
The protesters started to disperse at about 4.40pm.
Protesters were seen carrying banners with the words “Tangkap MO1” (Catch Malaysian Official 1) and Pokemon-ish posters saying “1MDB – Gotta Catch’em All”.
Some “creative” traders even took advantage of the illegal rally by selling T-shirts in the rally’s black-and-white theme and declaring “I am not Malaysian Official 1”.
A minor scuffle broke out among the protesters at a junction near Dataran Merdeka when one group – which parked its four-wheel-drive vehicle in the middle of the road – was asked to move out of the way by traffic officials.
However, the student organisation responsible for the gathering was able to bring the situation under control by asking the protesters to leave.
Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Zainol Samah said no untoward incidences occurred during the rally.
“We had an adequate number of police personnel on duty to ensure the safety of all.
“We will be reviewing footage from the rally before taking any action,” he said.
Rally spokesman Anis Syafiqah Mohd Yusof said the youth would not have to resort to street protests if Malaysians had stood their ground 20 years ago.
“If we – who don’t have anything to lose – don’t voice out this issue, who else is going to do it?” she asked.
Among notable personalities who attended the event were Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah, Bersih 2.0 resource person Hishamuddin Rais, PSM chairman Dr Nasir Hashim, Amanah communications director Khalid Abdul Samad and PKR vice-president Tian Chua.
Maria thanked the students for participating in the demonstration and said the rally was an avenue to call upon more people to join the campaign to arrest Malaysian Official 1.
Ten NGOs, mostly youth, showed their support for the rally, with the PKR, DAP and Amanah youth wings also in attendance.
Earlier this month, a coalition of student groups announced that the rally would be held at Dataran Merdeka here on Aug 27.
The rally is aimed at putting pressure on the authorities to arrest and charge “Malaysian Official 1”, so named in the recent US Department of Justice (DOJ) civil claims in relation to 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
Last month, the DOJ filed a civil suit against several individuals to seize more than US$1bil (RM4.01bil) worth of assets which it said were the result of US$3.5bil (RM14bil) misappropriated from the Malaysian state investment fund.
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