KAJANG, Dec 21 — Several members of Muslims groups and PAS staged a silent protest today in support of the persecuted Uighur minority, at the entrance of the Beautiful Xinjiang Cultural Show organised by the Chinese embassy in Bangi Avenue Convention Centre here.
The groups, which included the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Abim) and the Global Peace Mission (GPM), also said they are planning to submit a memorandum to the Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur soon.
The participants began gathering by 5.30pm, with the groups at the entrance and PAS members initially at the four-way intersection leading to the entrance.
Holding up posters expressing solidarity with the Uighurs, they urged passing vehicles to blast their horns in support of the demonstration. Several participants even plastered their mouths with tape to symbolise the censorship against the Uighurs.
The PAS demonstrators eventually came to the BACC entrance and joined up with the NGOs around 6.30pm, bearing party flags and placards.
By this time, the assembled crowd had swelled up to over 100 people, under the watchful eyes of 10 to 12 police officers present to ensure things went smoothly.
Abim vice-president and GPM chief executive officer Ahmad Fahmi Mohd Samsudin said the protest was to oppose the cultural show, which he described as an attempt by the Chinese government to promote a false narrative.
“We know the reality that the Uighurs are still oppressed and sidelined by Beijing, placed in concentration camps,” he told reporters.
Although Fahmi did not deny the good relations between Malaysia and China, now in its 45th year, he questioned the necessity of China taking such harsh action against a large segment of Uighurs.
“Note that this is not the first time the cultural show is being held. It was held in the other states such as in Pahang recently.
“Most disappointing is the fact that the KL Summit, now in its last day, has kept quiet over the matter, despite Abim and other NGOs urging them to do so,” he said, adding that the memorandum to the embassy will be sent as soon as they are able to.
Meanwhile, Bangi PAS Youth chief Nazir Hilmi said the party’s wing in the other states have also been asked to show solidarity by demonstrating whenever the cultural show performed there.
“Some could not do so for various reasons including late application for police permit. But others such as in Kedah and Perlis succeeded in doing so.
“In my capacity, I have also submitted a memorandum to the Selangor Mentri Besar and Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming’s offices, urging them to cancel the show,” he said.
Nazir echoed Fahmi’s sentiments, stating that although China has the right to curb extremism and crime — which was the claim made by Beijing to justify the internments of Uighurs — their method in doing so was excessive.
“Though we have good relations with China, we also hope the government will give a firm response about their stance on this issue.
“It would be most disappointing if any ministers or their deputies were to attend the show tonight,” he said.
Yesterday during the third day of the KL Summit, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the plight of the Uighurs would not be discussed since the event was neither about politics nor religion, but about developing Muslim countries — even as Palestinians and Rohingyas were mentioned.