Update: Bersih 5.0 ended at 8pm local time with the organisers the event has “ended peacefully and successfully”.
An estimated 50,000 Malaysians will attend the anti-corruption rally, Bersih 5.0, today (Nov 19) to demand the resignation of corrupted Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The protest will still proceed despite having a round of pre-rally arrests made by the government yesterday (Nov 18). Opposition leaders and members of the Bersih organising committee were arrested for “attempting to start a riot”, before the peaceful protest even began.
Bersih 5.0 is the fifth series of a protest calling for clean elections, freedom of speech and democracy. The government introduced an unofficial response group, called the Red Shirts, who are paid on government funding to turn the otherwise peaceful protests violent by attacking Bersih participants.
Despite having started by Opposition parties, the protest have also gained widespread support from former government officials including ex-Prime Minister Mahatir Mohammad.
Incumbent PM Najib Razak has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing despite having more than US$1 billion fund from state investment fund, 1MDB, funneled into his personal bank accounts. The dictator Prime Minister dismissed government investigators on the case and went to prosecute critics who “defamed” him.