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Malaysian protesters demand anti-graft chief’s arrest

THE STRAITS TIMES – Some 200 protesters converged on the streets of Kuala Lumpur yesterday to demand action against Malaysian anti-graft chief Azam Baki following controversy over the purchase of stocks several years ago.

The police closed several roads leading to the gathering point of Bangsar Light Rail Transit (LRT) station – leading to traffic congestion at the surrounding areas – but that did not stop the #Arrest Azam Baki protesters from gathering from 10.30am.

With placards calling for action against Azam, they also chanted tangkap Azam Baki (arrest Azam Baki) as they marched towards downtown Kuala Lumpur under the watchful eyes of the police.

The police also engaged the protest organisers, requesting them not to march further. Riot police formed a line in Jalan Travers, about one kilometre away from the LRT station, to prevent the mostly young protesters from proceeding further.

The organisers agreed not to go on, news portal Malaysiakini reported. Instead, the protesters sat down for 15 minutes as a sign of their dissatisfaction against the government’s handling of Azam’s case.

Youth wing leaders of political parties also addressed the crowd, reiterating calls for the authorities to take action against Azam.

The crowd later marched back towards the LRT station, with the protesters dispersing at around 12.30pm after singing the national anthem Negaraku.

Azam, Malaysia’s number one graft buster, has raised a huge outcry after admitting to buying stocks in 2015 of two listed companies using his trading account, but which he said were done on behalf of his brother.

The amount is reported by the media to be worth MYR1 million (SGD321,000), which would have breached rules prohibiting public officials from owning more than MYR100,000 of any company.

A man impersonates Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Azam Baki during an Arrest Azam Baki rally in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: AFP
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