The choice of Malaysia as a host for the Olympic torch relay reflects the country's close relations with China, Foreign Minister Rais Yatim said Sunday. ( dpa )
The torch arrived from Thailand to Kuala Lumpur, one of 21 cities outside China hosting the Olympic 130-day relay covering 137,000 kilometres, the longest in its history.
The minister said Malaysian authorities were taking the necessary measures to ensure the safety and success of the relay, adding that the summer Olympics in Beijing should be free of politics.
The Beijing Olympic flame was greeted by a 1,000-strong police team including Special Action Squad members providing security for the Kuala Lumpur relay Monday.
Nearly two dozens members of the Falun Gong religious movement held a peaceful demonstration outside the Chinese embassy Friday to voice their discontent over the Chinese government's persecution of the sect's followers.
City Internal Security and Public Order chief K. Kumaran warned that police would not hesitate to take stern action against anyone who tries to disrupt the run.
"We are well-prepared to counter any form of disturbance from anyone or any organization," he added.
The Olympic torch will be flown next to Jakarta, Indonesia.