I reached KLCC around 1pm today. Just for the Olympics torch relay. The Chinese Olympics Committee people arrived from Bangkok to KL late Saturday night, bearing the historical torch with them. It was said that the flame of the Olympics torch has never been put out. I find that hard to believe…
The 10-mile route (16km) started from Dataran Merdeka at 2:30pm. Reached at 6pm. I don’t know what on earth would take them so long. Rain started pouring in at 4pm and sea of people started to gather under sheltered covers, but splashes of rain didn’t deter thousand of Chinese students and nationals screaming “中国加油！奥运加油！北京加油！”…
Tens of thousands of spectators and onlookers gathered at the majestic KLCC park under sun and ultimately, rain just to catch a glimpse of the torch and the bearers. Luckily for some, they did. I’m one of the thousands of unlucky ones :-(
Snapped hundreds of pictures and some videos. Here are some of the pix I took. Will try to upload videos to Youtube~~ Also, found out later a Japanese family-of-3 and a monk were among the few who got arrested…When in KLCC, there were people thinking out aloud why there were no pro-Tibet protests…I wondered the same thing but am so glad there were no complications.
Finally, speech from the vice chairman of the Chinese Olympics committee (I think…) I really wanted to take pictures with some of the big shots but the security was beefed up and areas were barricaded. At around 7:00pm I sandwiched through sea of crowds and headed straight to the LRT station, too much Co2 almost suffocated me… (or according to CSI, a fancy term call asphyxiation)
Here’s an article from Cable News Network… (or according to some of the Chinese students, Certified Nonsense Natter) :
Chinese students cheer Malaysian torch relay
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (CNN) -- Hundreds of flag-waving Chinese students gathered at the starting and ending points of the Olympic torch relay in Kuala Lumpur Monday, far outnumbering the handful of people who carried pro-Tibet signs.
Heavy security was in place to protect the 80 runners carrying the Olympic torch along a 10-mile (16 km) route through the Malaysian capital, ending at the Petronas Twin Towers.
About 500 Chinese students attended the relay, carrying pro-China signs and heckling the few people taking a pro-Tibet stand.
The Chinese students wore identical shirts with the slogan "One Dream, One Nation," and many of them had Chinese flags painted on their faces, according to witnesses.
An Olympics organizer said the Chinese Embassy arranged for the students to be there. Several of the students told CNN that the Chinese government provided their transportation to the event and gave them the flags and shirts.
Witnesses said the Chinese students overwhelmed a woman wearing a "Free Tibet" shirt and holding a pro-Tibet sign, hitting her with small Chinese flags before she was carried away unhurt by a photographer.
"As soon as spectators saw what she was doing, they immediately mobbed her, hitting her with flags," said Brad Kesler, an American tourist who was there to watch the start of the relay.
Kesler said the woman was holding the sign and not yelling.
At least two other people carrying pro-Tibet signs were carried away by police. It was not clear if they were detained because of a disruption or if they were removed for their own safety.
About 1,500 people attended the relay's start in Independence Square, according to witness estimates. Few of them appeared to be local residents -- a member of the Malaysian Olympics council explained it was a work day.
Malaysian actress Marina Mahathir, one of the 80 torchbearers, said she was "very excited and very proud to be carrying the torch." She said she did not expect any of the violence that disrupted the relay in several other cities.
Earlier torch relay stops in London, England; Paris, France; and San Francisco, California attracted tens of thousands of demonstrators. Some protesters in those cities tried to disrupt the relay, and police made dozens of arrests.
The flame will arrive in Jakarta, Indonesia late Monday for a torch relay there on Tuesday.