Olympic torch arrives in Kuala Lumpur
The torch, accompanied by Chinese security, arrived by charter plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at about 2.19 am (23.49 IST) from Thailand.world Updated: Apr 20, 2008 03:24 IST
The Olympic flame arrived in Kuala Lumpur amid heightened security on Sunday after earlier demonstrations fuelled Malaysian fears that foreigners might disrupt the April 21 leg.
The torch, accompanied by Chinese security, arrived by charter plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at about 2:19 am (2349 IST) from Thailand.
The symbol of the Beijing 2008 Games is on the Asian leg of its world tour, which has so far been largely trouble free after embarrassing protests in Europe and the United States earlier this month.
Two Malaysian Olympic officials joined the Chinese Ambassador to meet the torch party, said witnesses.
The torch will now be kept at a secret location before it appears in public on Monday for Malaysian leg, officials said.
Malaysian police have increased security for the torch relay, with local Olympic officials concerned that foreign protesters will try to disrupt the event.
"We are well prepared to counter any form of disturbance from anyone or any organisation," the city's public order chief, K Kumaran, told The Star daily.
Special forces will accompany the torch bearers, and the number of police officers manning the 16.5-kilometre route has been increased from 600 to 1,000, Kumaran said.
On Saturday, 30 Falungong supporters demonstrated outside the Chinese embassy, alleging that Beijing was using the Games as a reason to persecute the group's practitioners.