PETALING JAYA: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today called on the Chinese community to be wary of extremists trying to stoke tensions among the Malay community using the issue concerning the ratification of a UN rights treaty, Malaysiakini reported today.
According to the portal, Lim met editors of Chinese dailies for 90 minutes today and told them that some political parties and individuals were playing with the sentiments of the Malay community using the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) issue as well as other racial issues.
Lim said this was meant to generate traction for the planned Umno-PAS rally on ICERD on Dec 8.
He said although the gathering can proceed, it should be carried out peacefully.
Earlier today, the government announced it had decided against proceeding with ratification of the treaty amid intense opposition from Malay groups and political parties which warned that ICERD was a threat to Malaysia’s affirmative action policy.
Lim told the editors at the meeting that certain parties had linked the ratification issue to the ability of the Malay community to survive, when this was not the case.
“In fact, we were puzzled why this issue was suddenly plucked out of nowhere as it was never an issue during the 14th general election.
“The Chinese community needs to understand the developments and changes in the Malay community. They need to be wary until after the Dec 8 rally.
”Although this may not directly be linked to the Chinese community, we must be alert.
“When it is said to be a survival issue (of the Malays), then other communities will also be targeted,” he was reported as saying by Malaysiakini.
Lim said he became aware that the Malay community was being instigated after a video alleging he had diverted funds meant for Malay students to Chinese temples went viral on social media.
He said someone “with bad intentions” was playing up such issues to protect their political status.
“Some parties cannot get rid of their corruption label and they need to cover up their inability to manage finances.
“So they play up extremism to divert attention,” he said.
Lim said the current situation should not deter the public from further expressing their views on ICERD.
The Bagan MP did not respond when asked to state DAP’s stand on ICERD.
The Star reported that the organiser of the Dec 8 rally in Kuala Lumpur had claimed victory following the government’s decision not to ratify ICERD.
Aminuddin Yahaya, secretariat chief of the Malay-Muslim NGO Ummah, said the Dec 8 rally would continue as planned, but this time as a celebration.
The daily said Ummah, together with another group called Sekretariat Kedaulatan Negara, was organising the rally at Dataran Merdeka. Both PAS and Umno had earlier declared they would join the rally.