KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — Former Bersih leader Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan praised today the police and organisers of a rally against a United Nations convention of racial equality for ensuring a peaceful demonstration.
“I congratulate the organisers and police for a peaceful rally. Welcome to Malaysia Baharu,” she tweeted.
I congratulate the organisers and police for a peaceful rally. Welcome to Malaysia Baharu.— Ambiga Sreenevasan (@Ambiga_S) 8 December 2018
Today’s protest in the city centre against the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), which was organised by Malay-Muslim groups, Umno, and PAS, ran without incident, unlike previous Bersih rallies for free and fair elections under the Barisan Nasional (BN) government that witnessed police brutality up till the Bersih 3 protest.
Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa replied Ambiga’s tweet and said it was not Malaysia Baharu, a term to denote the first change of government, that made the anti-ICERD rally peaceful, but a “brand new Opposition and NGOs with different set of values”.
It is not the so called Msia Baru that make the gathering peaceful..but a brand new opposition n NGOs with different set of values compared to what we used to see in the past!!we manned our own security..we even collected rubbish and clean up the street ourself..— Annuar Musa (@AnnuarMusa) 8 December 2018
Lawyers for Liberty founder N. Surendran praised the live coverage of the Opposition rally on television.
Nice to see live coverage of an oppositon rally on Tv. This is truly M'sia Baru. Umno/BN pse hang ur head in shame! U never allowed coverage & demonised rallies— N.Surendran (@nsurendrann) 8 December 2018
Pictures of the anti-ICERD protest showed a clean Dataran Merdeka after over 100,000 people demonstrated.
The previous government not only condemned rallies, but authorities had used tear gas and water cannons to disperse large crowds at the first three Bersih protests.