CHICAGO (CBS) — Protesters gathered in Millennium Park today to talk about government corruption in Malaysia.

Dr. Boo Cheng Hau happened to be visiting Chicago from the Johor State and joined in with the protesters at the Bean. He says Malaysians are starting to realize they have rights, mostly because of the internet, but they’re afraid to demand them because they’re worried about retaliation.

“Human rights and also Democratic rights have been eroded and also corruption is rampant,” he says. “There is no process for checking the autocratic regime that has siphoned off most of the resources in Malaysia.”

In Malaysian anti-government activity can get you 20 years in prison. Amy Louis moved to Naperville from Malaysia 30 years ago and says Americans who have always known freedom don’t realize how oppressed others are.

“Americans do need to appreciate the freedom that we have here, freedom of speech especially,” Louis says. “We do not appreciate what goes on outside the U.S.”

Protesters in Millennium Park speak out against corruption in Malaysia. (Credit: Veronica Carer)

Protesters in Millennium Park speak out against corruption in Malaysia. (Credit: Veronica Carer)

Louis says they’re asking for elections that are fair, government without tyranny, and their right to speak out.