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In Photos: Kuala Lumpur a Sea of Yellow as Thousands of Protesters Flood the Streets

Tens of thousands of Malaysians took the streets to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak amid corruption allegations.
August 29, 2015, 8:01pm
Imagen por Ritchie B.Tongo/EPA

Tens of thousands of Malaysian protesters turned out in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak following the discovery of millions of dollars worth of clandestine deposits made to his personal bank accounts.

An internal probe uncovered more than $700 million that had been deposited into Razak's accounts from entities linked with the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

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A government task force charged with determining whether there was mismanagement at the fund — which is presently more than $10 billion in debt — made the discovery. Razak claims the money was from a donor in the Middle East.

"Stop treating us like fools, Mr. Prime Minister," businessman Tony Wong said at the protests. "We deserve to know the truth about 1MDB. Where has the money gone to?"

Related: Malaysia's Scandal-Plagued Prime Minister Just Purged His Cabinet

Malaysian protestors march through the streets of Kuala Lumpur. (Photo by Ritchie B.Tongo/EPA)

Documents from the investigation that were leaked to the Wall Street Journal detailed investigators' suspicions that money from the fund was siphoned into Razak's personal bank accounts. The prime minister closed newspapers and removed the deputy premier and four other cabinet members who voiced concerns over his handling of the affair.

The government blocked a website linked to a rally organizer, banned yellow clothing, and denied protesters a permit to assemble, but demonstrators were not discouraged. Police estimated the turnout at 25,000 on Saturday, while organizers put it at nearly 200,000 people, nearly all clad in bright yellow shirts. Many tooted vuvuzela horns and carried signs demanding that Razak resign.

Related: Documents Allegedly Prove Malaysian Prime Minister Funneled $700 Million From State Fund

A Malaysian protestor wears a painted face during a BERSIH rally in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo by Fazry Ismail/EPA)

According to the Associated Press, more than 41,000 Malaysians have also downloaded FireChat — the messaging app that was integral to Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests last year and which enables users to communicate without internet connectivity — in anticipation that the government might shut off the internet.

The protests have remained peaceful so far, but Malaysian authorities have resorted to force to disperse demonstrations in the past. Police used water cannon and teargas to break up rallies organized by Bersih, the same group that organized Saturday's protests, in 2012 and 2011.

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Related: White House Accused of 'Selling Out' Fight Against Human Trafficking in Malaysia

Malaysian police man a road block in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo by Ritchie B.Tongo/EPA)

Malaysian protestors with Guy Fawkes masks. (Photo by Ahmad Yusni/EPA)

Malaysian protestors pose with a manipulated poster depicting Prime Minister Najib Razak, who allegedly received $700 million in bribes. (Photo by Ahmad Yusni/EPA)

A protestor punches her fist in the air as thousands of Malaysians march through the streets of Kuala Lumpur. (Photo by Ritchie B.Tongo/EPA)

A protestor dressed in a yellow Spiderman costume at a rally in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo by Fazry Ismail/EPA)

A protestor with a temporary tattoo that reads "Bersih," which means clean in the Malay language. (Photo by Ritchie B.Tongo/EPA)

Protesters surround Wan Azizah, the leader of Malaysian opposition party Pakatan Rakyat and the wife of imprisoned former deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.(Photo by Fazry Ismail/EPA)

A protestor wearing a straw hat and "BERSIH4" bandana in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo by Fazry Ismail/EPA)

Protestors wave the Malaysian flag during a rally in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo by Ritchie B.Tongo/EPA)

Malaysian protesters sleep on the street in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo by Ritchie B.Tongo/EPA)

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