Malaysian police fire water cannons at pro-government protesters
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Malaysian police fire water cannons at pro-government protesters

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian police have fired water cannons at ethnic Malays who turned unruly at a rally to support Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government, following calls for Najib to step down over a $700 million financial scandal.

Hundreds of protesters pelted riot police with plastic bottles Wednesday and tried to push their way into Chinatown, which was barricaded, prompting riot police to fire chemical-laced water to disperse the crowd.

Wearing red shirts, more protesters chanted “Long live the Malays” as they blew horns and marched from several locations in Kuala Lumpur to a field near Parliament, where they continued to rally peacefully.

MalaysiaProtestSept16

Pro-government ‘red shirt’ protestors listen to a speech during a pro-government demonstration in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Wednesday. Pic: AP.

The rally, which included Cabinet members and leaders from Najib’s ruling Malay party, was held to counter a protest in late August by tens of thousands of Malaysians to demand Najib’s ouster and political reforms.

Wednesday’s protesters accused ethnic Chinese of driving last month’s demonstration.

A nation of 30 million, Malaysia is predominantly Malay Muslim, with significant Chinese and Indian minorities.

Here we compile some images of the rally posted on social media this afternoon:

There were numerous reports of protesters shouting racial insults:

However, most of the protesters rallied peacefully as they made their way to a park near Parliament: