November 10, 2007
Mayur Pahilajani (AHN Media Corp)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (AHN) – To disperse one of the largest gatherings of political protestors in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Malaysian riot police used tear gas and “chemically-laced water” cannons.
For the first time in over 10 years, thousands of people came out on the streets to demand electoral reform and the use of indelible ink to prove who has voted and to stop them from revoting.
The protest, organized by opposition party leaders and other non-governmental organizations, followed a series of accusations on the ruling bloc for allowing fraudulent activities in the electoral process.
The protest is likely to affect the government while it contents during the general elections early next year. The demonstrators were stopped from entering Merdeka (Independence) Square in the heart of city by the police as they said that they did not have permission.
More than 30,000 marchers, wearing yellow shirt, were chanting Allah-o-Akbar (God is Great) as they walked on the streets of the capital city amid heavy rains. Most of the protestors were cordon off at the Masjid Jamek mosque.
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi’s government ordered to ban the protest and considered the rally as illegal.
From more than half a century, Malaysia has been ruled by only one party, whose members have been accused of using absentee ballots and other fraudulent activities to win elections.
According to CNN, New York-based Human Rights Watch criticized the ban of the government on the protestors and on the media.
“If Malaysia wants to count itself a democracy, it can begin by upholding constitutional guarantees of free speech and assembly. The way the system works now, only the ruling coalition can get its messages out,” it said.
Malaysian Riot Police Use Teargas To Disperse Thousands Of Protestors
November 10, 2007