KUALA LUMPUR DEC 8: The #Himpunan812 or the Anti-Icerd campaign held at Dataran Merdeka today witnessed more than 100,000 Malay Muslims from all over the country stood strong and united to protect their rights and privileges as stipulated in the Federal Constitution.
Before the official event that started at 2pm, about 15,000 Muslims performed their zohor followed by “hajat” prayers at Dataran Merdeka and some near the Sogo shopping complex. This was in line with their gratitude to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government that had rejected the ICERD Ratification on November 23.
The big assembly was conducted peacefully with speeches delivered by leaders including the President of UMNO, Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Abdul Awang and other NGO leaders.
Zahid in his speech urged the Malay Muslims to be united to be strong in protecting the Malay rights, Islam and also the country. However he claimed that 500,000 Malay Muslims were present at the assembly.
According to the police, until 3pm about 50,000 people gathered at the Dataran Merdeka. However the ICERD ratification protesters came from many stations such as Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kampung Baru, Masjid Jamek, Sogo Shopping Complex and Masjid Negara. The actual numbers that turned out at the assembly has not been confirmed.
Many people were not able to enter the over-crowded Dataran Merdeka to listen to the speeches of the organizers. However they remained at the Masjid Jamek LRT station until around 5pm when it started to rain.
Meanwhile Hadi in his speech warned the PH government that such assembly and street protests will be held whenever the Malay rights, Islam and its sensitivities are being disturbed by others.
Most of the leaders in their speeches wanted the government not to repeat the ICERD ratification proposal and they wanted the government to give a positive guarantee that it will not be brought up again.
In another development, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir said sarcastically that he was happy about “one million people” gathered at the #Himpunan812 at Dataran Merdeka today to appreciate the government’s decision not to ratify ICERD.
“I am happy that I was able to make such a decision not to ratify ICERD,” he said when asked about the #812Himpunan at a press conference this afternoon.
He also mentioned that the Universal Human Rights Celebration in Petaling Jaya that was scheduled today (Dec.8) was postponed to another date.
“It is not that we do not allow such demonstration to be held but it is more to the security factors. The police will not be able to control two big demonstrations at one time.
“We do not want the police to be pressured unnecessarily due to shortage of staff to control the big crowds in two public demonstrations,” he said.
Meanwhile the Federal Constitution expert, Associate Prof. Dr. Shamrahayu A. Aziz said, she was amazed with the development where a new solidarity has developed amongst the Muslim Malays.
“This is a sign that the Malay Muslims have been pressured by the ICERD ratification proposal and as such the government should not touch the sensitivities of any race again,” she said in an interview with Astro Awani today.
She also emphasized that rejecting the ICERD ratification does not mean that Malaysia is rejecting the universal standards where human rights and discrimination are concerned.
Shamrahayu added, the most important thing is that the government and the private sectors should study carefully the good governance aspects and should there be any loophole it should be improved and corrected. –Malaysia World News