30,000 people protest in Kuala Lumpur
At least 30,000 Malaysians surprised the government as they took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to demand a free and fair elections next year. From IHT:
Thousands of people defied a government ban against the rally Saturday in downtown Kuala Lumpur but were scattered as police fired tear gas and water canon near the Merdeka (Independence) Square where they had gathered.More YouTube videos here, here and here. The excellent Malaysiakini has more in depth reports.
The crowd, many wearing yellow T-shirts, later regrouped and marched to the royal palace in a procession more than 300 meters (yards) long, shouting "Save Malaysia" and "Long Live the People." Yellow is the color of Malaysian royalty.
Protesters presented a memorandum to a representative of the king, urging him to intervene to ensure the election system is revamped ahead of general elections widely expected for early next year.
"This is our right. Our rulers are so proud of our democracy but in fact our democracy is worse than Burma, worse than Bangladesh," said Rosli, a 40-year-old government worker. "We just want to correct what is wrong. We just ask for fair elections."
(Thanks Kamal, Mr Big)
Update: Here's the promo video (with Michael Jackson's Man In the Mirror) by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections that calls for Malaysians to attend the peaceful assembly on Saturday. (Thanks LK)