Unreasonable to hold Dec 8 ICERD rally, says Patriot

Patriot president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji says rumours are being spread on social media ‘of an impending riot emanating from the Dec 8 rally’.

KUALA LUMPUR: Now that the government has said it will not ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), there is no reason to continue with the planned anti-ICERD rally, Patriot said.

The association of retired policemen and armed forces staff said the organisers’ insistence that they would go ahead and hold the rally, but now to celebrate the non-ratification of ICERD by the government, was “irrational and void of reasoning”.

Patriot president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji, in a statement, said the group wanted peace to prevail and any racist or provocative actions or statements should not be tolerated.

He commended the police for saying they would investigate all those who had made speeches that were deemed provocative, adding this would serve as a warning to others not to make such speeches and statements.

“We believe all those who have been making such unwarranted hate speeches and statements have not seen or experienced living in fear during the darkest period in the nation’s history, that is the 1969 May 13 racial riots.

“Most of us who had lived through that dark period would not want to be a witness to such catastrophic and horrendous scenes of destruction and burned bodies strewn across the streets of Kuala Lumpur ever again.

“We, members of Patriot who had served the armed forces and the Malaysian police during that trying period in our nation’s history, were witness to such horrendous scenes.

“It is for this very reason that we urge the organisers of the Dec 8 anti-ICERD rally, which is primarily a Malay-based rally, not to proceed with the event.”

He said rumours were being spread on social media “of an impending riot emanating from the Dec 8 rally”.

“In view of the insistence of the organisers of the rally to proceed, and coupled with the fear by the general public of a possible riotous situation resulting from the rally, Patriot urges the chief of defence forces to come forward with an announcement that the armed forces will come forward in force to support police should anything untoward occur during the rally.

“Such an announcement will give confidence to the general public that their safety and the security of the nation is assured,” Arshad said.