KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian police said they have arrested more than a dozen individuals ahead of large rallies planned by rival groups in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

Police arrested Maria Chin Abdullah, leader of the Bersih group that calling for clean elections and governance, as well as Jamal Yunos, leader of the pro-government "red shirt" group, according to a police statement.

Both groups planned to hold rallies in down town Kuala Lumpur, raising fear of potential clashes.

Maria Chin was arrested following media report that her group had received foreign funding, while Jamal was arrested for allegedly involved in illegal gathering, the police said.

More than 10 people including opposition figures were also arrested in overnight operations by police for involving in the rallies.

Supporters of both Bersih and the red shirt gathered from early Saturday as several thousand police deployed to monitor the situation. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has criticized the opposition for plotting the rallies in an attempt to topple the government.