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Malaysia marks Independence Day after protests

Monday, August 31, 2015 - 01:28

Malaysia celebrates National Day by holding a parade in Kuala Lumpur, after tens of thousands gathered for anti-government rallies over the weekend. Yiming Woo reports.

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Families gather to mark the 58th anniversary of Malaysia's independence from British rule. Just a day before, this road was occupied by tens of thousands of protesters, calling for Prime Minister Najib Razak to resign. Some Malaysians celebrating National Day are critical of the demonstrations over the weekend. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Malaysia) MALAYSIA'S NATIONAL DAY PARADE ATTENDEE, MUHAMMAD HAMIZAN, SAYING: "The rally shouldn't have happened because it ruined our National Day celebrations." The protest brought to the streets a political crisis triggered by reports of a mysterious transfer of more than $600 million into an account under Najib's name. The prime minister has denied the allegations. While the rallies boasted large numbers, most of the protesters were from the minority ethnic Chinese and Indian communities. Political watcher Ibrahim Suffian says the protest didn't really represent the views of the society. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF INDEPENDENT POLLSTER MERDEKA CENTER, IBRAHIM SUFFIAN, SAYING: "The protest, large as it is, does not show the broad cross-section of Malaysian society. And in Malaysian society, the political arena is divided between the rural as well as the urban electorates. And the protest that we've seen over the weekend reflects largely the urban areas which are already in support of the opposition." Some say the demonstration lacked a strong leader and is unlikely to inspire broad public support for Najib to quit.

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Malaysia marks Independence Day after protests

Monday, August 31, 2015 - 01:28