Ambiga: Peaceful anti-ICERD rally shows Malaysia Baharu

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan praised the police and organisers of the anti-ICERD rally today for ensuring a peaceful demonstration. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan praised the police and organisers of the anti-ICERD rally today for ensuring a peaceful demonstration. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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.

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”.

Lawyers for Liberty founder N. Surendran praised the live coverage of the Opposition rally on television.

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.

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