Malaysia

One death reported at rally

KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — The “success” of the Bersih 2.0 rally for electoral reform today was soured by the death of Baharuddin Ahmad, the husband of the Setiawangsa PKR Wanita division chief.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Baharuddin, who was marching along with the thousands who turned up today in support of Bersih 2.0, died when he fell during a scuffle with police at KLCC this afternoon.

Police confirmed earlier today that 1,401 of the estimated 6,000 protestors were detained during the gathering, which lasted for over four hours.

Scuffles reportedly broke out between protestors and the armed riot police when the march, which was originally intended to be peaceful, descended into chaos.

Tear gas canisters and water cannons were also fired at various points across the city as the police attempted to force protestors to disperse.

This is Bersih 2.0’s second such rally since 2007 calling for free and fair elections. Its leaders attempted to march to Istana Negara today to hand a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong but were held back by the police about 200m away.

At a press conference after the crowd slowly began to disperse, Bersih 2.0 declared that the rally had been a success, claiming it had drawn a crowd of over 50,000 supporters despite efforts by the police over the past few weeks to restrict the turnout.

 

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