Vastavam web: Thousands of protesters gathered at an unsanctioned rally on Saturday to demand action against Prime Minister Najib Razak over the mismanagement of billions of dollars by a state fund.But rising living costs and a broad-based consumption tax are leaving people like Hasmurni Tamby, a 42-year-old single mother of five, fed up with the way things are going under Najib.
“Prices of everything have gone up but not our salaries. We can’t save. So we don’t want this leader anymore,” said Hasmurni, who travelled several hours north from her home state of Malacca to attend the evening rally.Najib’s popularity took a hit from persistent bad press linked to 1MDB, especially after the U.S. Department of Justice filed civil suits to recover over $1.7 billion alleged to have been misappropriated from the 1MDB fund.
A rebounding economy and strengthening ringgit currency, however, are working in Najib’s favour.But Mahathir, who saw through Malaysia’s industrialisation as its longest-serving prime minister, warned that nothing good will come out of allowing his former protege to continue to rule.“Never before have we had a prime minister who is a thief. He steals so he can have a comfortable life,” Mahathir told the crowd when delivering the final speech of the night.