KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim urged Umno counterpart Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to maintain order during a rally rejecting the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) this Saturday.
Anwar said this was especially since the federal government has decided not to ratify the treaty.
“Most importantly is ensuring order and peace,” he told reporters in Parliament today.
He also declined the invitation from the rally organisers, saying he stood by the Cabinet’s decision.
Anwar also questioned the Kelantan state government’s decision to declare an ad hoc public holiday on Sunday ostensibly to allow the state’s residents to attend the rally.
“That’s my opinion, I think it’s inappropriate to give a public holiday for a demonstration,” he said.
Yesterday Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob declared Sunday as a special public holiday to allow people there attend the rally a day earlier.
PAS, Umno and some NGOs are organising the rally.
ICERD is a United Nations treaty that Malaysia had proposed to sign and ratify, but which was abandoned following backlash primarily from Malay-Muslim groups that expressed concern about its effects on their special privileges.
The rally was initially planned as a protest against Putrajaya’s bid to ratify ICERD, but has morphed into a “thanksgiving” rally after the government decided against the ratification.