Malaysia's mammoth civil disobedience campaign has heightened pressure on scandal-ridden Prime Minister Najib Razak but is an imminent departure on the cards? Unlikely, analysts say.
The 61-year-old leader, who is no stranger to controversy, has most recently been accused of pocketing almost $700 million from troubled government fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Najib says the allegations are part of a malicious campaign to force him from office, while his cabinet ministers claim the funds were campaign donations from unnamed sources in the Middle East.
"[The] protests will pile on public pressure on Najib to resign. But unfortunately he's in quite a strong position," said James Chin, director of the Asia Institute at the University of Tasmania.
"When you look at the number of Malay participants that were a lot less this time and it's the Malay community that will decide the outcome of Najib's prime ministership."
Malaysia, a nation of 30 million, is predominantly Malay Muslim. However, the majority of participants in the weekend's rally - estimated by police to number roughly 25,000 - came from the country's minority ethnic Chinese and Indian communities.
More than the protests, Chin said Najib's handling of the economy was what might see him pushed out the door.
"The ringgit is the key to the prime ministership," said Chin. "If the economy does well and the ringgit recovers, then Najib will be in a much stronger position. If the ringgit keeps falling to 4.6, 4.7– the Prime Minister doesn't have a choice but to resign," he said.
The ringgit has lost one third of its value against the U.S. dollar over the past 12 months and is Asia's worst performing currency this year, driven by global headwinds - such as lower energy prices and a broader selloff in emerging market assets – as well as domestic political turmoil.
A weaker ringgit hurts consumers' pockets as it pushes up the price of imported goods. The currency traded at 4.19 against the greenback on Monday.