September 21, 2018
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Malaysians protest against unmet promises as govt marks 100 days in office

Kuala Lumpur, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- Angry Malaysians took to the streets Saturday to protest against the ruling Pakatan Harapan alliance, which reached 100 days in office.

Protesters held up placards that read "100 Hari Janji Palsu" (100 Days of False Promises) at a rally in Petaling Jaya, outside Kuala Lumpur, an efe-epa journalist reported from the ground.

Demonstrations have been planned across the country in various locations on Saturday, he added.

The organizers mobilized the protest through social media in the day leading up to it and asked protesters to wear black t-shirts to the actions.

A Facebook post by one of the organizers asked the government, led by 93-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, to stop lying to the people.

It urged members of the public to gather together to demand the government fulfills its pre-election promises.

"The government realized 21 promises or 35 percent of the 60 promises in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto to unshackle Malaysia from the issue of corruption and ensure good governance. These efforts called for a drastic integrated and comprehensive plan," Mohamad said in an address to the nation on Friday evening.

"After the Pakatan Harapan took over the government, we found that the damage they had done was far worse than what we had been anticipated," he said in defense of unmet manifesto promises.

Human rights nonprofit Amnesty International, too, released a statement on Friday saying the new government still had a long way to go "despite some notable achievements during its first 100 days in power."

"Credit must be given for repeal of the Anti-Fake News Act, the promise to review the use of the death penalty and the release or acquittal of several government critics, but the lack of progress in other areas is highly disappointing," said Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Amnesty International's Malaysia Researcher in the statement.

"A host of repressive laws remain on Malaysia's statute books, including the notorious Sedition Act, which is still being used to silence peaceful critics, while the situation for LGBTI people and migrant workers in the country is deteriorating," she added.

The Pakatan Harapan had won in a landslide in May elections against the Barisan Nasional coalition, led by former Prime Minister Najib Razak's United Malays National Organisation party, which had been in power for 60 years.

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