News / Asia

Malaysians Defy Police, Rally Against Election Loss

Demonstrators attend a rally in protest of Sunday's election result at a stadium in Kelana Jaya, outside Kuala Lumpur, May 8, 2013.
Demonstrators attend a rally in protest of Sunday's election result at a stadium in Kelana Jaya, outside Kuala Lumpur, May 8, 2013.
VOA News
Tens of thousands of Malaysian opposition supporters rallied late Wednesday to protest what they say are fraud-marred election results that enabled the long-ruling coalition to remain in power.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim called the rally, which filled a sports stadium outside Kuala Lumpur, despite threats by Malaysian police to arrest anyone who attended.

National police chief Ismail Omar had warned earlier that the protest was illegal because Anwar did not apply for a government permit.

Malaysia's Peaceful Assembly Act tightly regulates protests and public gatherings, and requires organizers to receive advance permission for rallies.  Anwar, an ex-deputy prime minister, has said the law is an undemocratic assault on free speech.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (R) reads his oath declaration as he is sworn in for his second term as prime minister, May 6, 2013.Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (R) reads his oath declaration as he is sworn in for his second term as prime minister, May 6, 2013.
x
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (R) reads his oath declaration as he is sworn in for his second term as prime minister, May 6, 2013.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (R) reads his oath declaration as he is sworn in for his second term as prime minister, May 6, 2013.
Supporters followed his directive to wear black T-shirts to the protest with "050513" to mark the date of the poll won by Prime Minister Najib Razak's coalition.  He said it is the beginning of a "fierce movement" to challenge the vote and reform Malaysia's electoral system.

Final results from Sunday's election show the National Front coalition captured a large majority of the seats, despite losing the popular vote for the first time in 44 years.

Tian Chua, vice president of the opposition People's Justice Party, says he rejects the notion that the Wednesday protest is illegal.

"There are no issues about objections from the stadium owner, so this cannot be interpreted as a threat to public order. I think the police are probably just following the instructions of the newly sworn-in prime minister, Najib Razak," said Tian Chua. "I don't think the police are expressing a position that is legally valid."

Tian says his coalition will continue the fight to challenge the election results, saying that the government of Prime Minister Najib has lost its legitimacy.

"The results of the poll clearly show that the majority of the people reject his leadership," he said. "At the same time, there are so many eyewitnesses who can testify to massive fraud in various seats."

  • Opposition supporters wave flags as they attend a rally to protest Sunday's election results at a stadium in Kelana Jaya, Malaysia, May 8, 2013.
  • Opposition supporters attend a rally to protest Sunday's election result at a stadium in Kelana Jaya, Malaysia, May 8, 2013.
  • Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim speaks during a rally to protest Sunday's election results at a stadium in Kelana Jaya, May 8, 2013.
  • Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak celebrates after winning elections at his party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, early May 6, 2013.
  • Supporters of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim wave flags after polls closed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 5, 2013.
  • Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim leaves a polling station with his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail after casting their votes during the general elections in Permatang Pauh, Malaysia, May 5, 2013.
  • A voter has his finger painted with indelible ink before casting his votes during the general elections in Permatang Pauh, Malaysia, May 5, 2013.
  • Voters arrive outside a polling station during the general elections in Permatang Pauh, Malaysia, May 5, 2013.

Rumors of cheating plagued the polls, including the use of ink to mark voters that critics say could be easily washed off. There also were complaints of foreigners being flown into the country to cast ballots.

A group of independent observers on Wednesday gave a mixed verdict. The report by the Center for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) and the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) noted a pro-government media bias, a lack of transparency in campaign spending, and the unequal organization of voting constituencies.

But one of the observers, Ramon Navarathnam of CPPS, said the election generally represented the will of the Malaysian people.

"There could have been some little discrepancy which could have, might have, affected the results in very marginal seats. I'm not saying it did, but could. But overall that's what's important, it's captured the spirits and the will of the people of Malaysia," said Navarathnam.

Razak, who was sworn in on Monday, has firmly dismissed the fraud charges, insisting that the results were in line with opinion polls that suggested his coalition was likely to win. The U.S. has also recognized the results.

Although the ruling bloc was able to win 133 of the 222 available seats and extend its 56-year rule, it only received 48 percent of the popular vote, compared to 52 percent for the opposition. It is the coalition’s poorest electoral performance since Malaysia's independence from Britain in 1957.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jonathan Yeo from: Malaysia
May 08, 2013 3:00 PM
Tonight, what I have spectated is true unity among Malaysians. There was no race, there was only one voice among the thousands of people in the crowd. I cried because i could not join them where they are when they sang "Negaraku". I cried because all I can do is watch as everyone was so united as one.

Who said we are divided? Who said we are breaking up the people? Who said we steering the country into ruin? I do not belief that the spirit we have here has any trace of ill towards our country. We want a better Malaysia, we want it to out do any other country so that we may all benefit in the future.

We are Malaysians, I am proud of all who call themselves that. Whatever the news says about racial divide and polarization, its all nonsense. I saw true Malaysians today, people who stood together as one.

We are strong, we are Malaysians.

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/229553

No permit is needed as long as the police are informed of the gathering.


by: linda ooi from: msia
May 08, 2013 12:48 PM
On behalf of many malaysians,I urge internationals to not simply comment on what's considered the most important matter to us as of a country.

1)police have said that the rally is indeed legal
2) the rally is not of a political purpose,but a token of us defending our democratic rights and at odds with the federal government and Electoral Commission committing electoral fraud.Hard evidence everywhere.Seehttp://www.barubian.net/2013/05/allegations-of-election-fraud-as.html

3)about a 100,000 attended the peaceful rally

This has been by far the filthiest election in this country

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid