514 arrested during Malaysia protest

2011-07-09 09:00

Kuala Lumpur - Police have detained more than 500 people and fired tear gas at many others as more than 10 000 demonstrators are massing across Malaysia's largest city to demand electoral reforms.

The opposition-backed rally is the culmination of weeks of intense pressure on Prime Minister Najib Razak's long-ruling coalition to make election laws fairer and more transparent ahead of national polls widely expected by mid-2012.

Authorities took extraordinary security measures to deter Saturday's rally by sealing off roads, closing train stations and deploying trucks mounted with water cannons near the Independence Stadium in downtown Kuala Lumpur.

Organisers said tear gas was fired at protesters but no injuries were immediately reported.