KUALA LUMPUR - A MALAYSIAN Olympic official on Sunday said he feared foreign agitators might try and disrupt the Malaysian leg of the Beijing Olympic's torch relay after scuffles marred similar events in other countries.
Disruption in London, Paris and San Francisco was linked to China's handling of Tibet, sparking a debate whether the flame's global journey should be cut short.
But the International Olympic Committee said late Friday it would stand firm with the Beijing organisers and there would be no change to the relay which starts in Malaysia on April 21.
'As a sporting country, Malaysians have been peaceful, I don't think they will disrupt the torch run,' Malaysian Olympic Council Secretary General Sieh Kok Chi said.
'But there could be professional agitators from overseas,' he added.
'We should look at the Olympics as sports, I hope we can keep politics out of the Olympics.'
Mr Sieh said Malaysian police were keeping close tabs on the situation.
'Security arrangements are being coordinated by the police, we have full confidence in the security forces,' he said.
The Malaysian leg of the relay will begin at Merdeka or Independence square in the middle of the city and will end four hours later at the country's iconic twin towers, Mr Sieh added.
He said the torch will be carried by corporate leaders, sports personalities and members of the public.
In Asia, the torch rally starts in India, then heads to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam before heading to China. -- AFP