Dr M’s absence from Human Rights Day gathering garnered public attention, says Suhakam chief

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail speaks to reporters during the press conference at Suhakam's International Human Rights Day celebration in Petaling Jaya on December 9, 2018 - Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail speaks to reporters during the press conference at Suhakam's International Human Rights Day celebration in Petaling Jaya on December 9, 2018 - Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PETALING JAYA, Dec 9 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s absence from the Human Rights Day celebration today has actually made the event more successful.

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said the prime minister had done the commission a favour when he had turned down from attending the event as it had made the public curious to know more.

“The PM had in a way done us a favour.

“Because he is not here, people are suddenly more interested, so they came and asked questions and showed interests in different issues,” he told a press conference at the Suhakam Human Rights Day celebration held in Padang Timur, here.

Satisfied of the public response over the annual event, which is celebrated internationally on December 10, Razali said following the anti-International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) rally at Jalan Raja, yesterday, there are more issues to highlight concerning human rights.

“There are many people who want to work and support on this out of the uncertainties that came out from yesterday, a lot of things can be drawn from it.

“I am extremely happy on how things turned out. I deliberately had not given my speech on stage as I have left the microphone alone, that was for the Prime Minister. We are 100 per cent ready and willing to work with the government,” he said.

Yesterday, Mahathir had said he would not be gracing the event which he was initially scheduled to launch, due to the government’s stand on ICERD to not sign the treaty.

The event was scheduled to take place earlier yesterday morning but was last minute postponed to today.

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