What’s wrong with giving thanks, rally organiser asks Anwar

Gerakan Pembela Ummah head Aminuddin Yahya says there should be no issue with holding the rally as planned.

KUALA LUMPUR: The organiser of a rally against the ICERD has brushed off Anwar Ibrahim’s criticism that proceeding with the gathering is nothing more than a “mischievous political gimmick” after Putrajaya decided not to ratify the United Nations human rights treaty.

Aminuddin Yahya said he saw no issue in still holding the gathering although the Pakatan Harapan government had said it would not ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

Aminuddin, who heads the Gerakan Pembela Ummah, a coalition of Muslim NGOs, said the rally which has been scheduled for Dec 8 would celebrate the government’s decision on the ICERD.

“We just want to give thanks, what’s wrong with that? How is that being mischievous?

“As a Muslim, I find it odd that giving thanks is seen as something mischievous,” he said on the sidelines of an ICERD forum.

Yesterday, Anwar questioned the move by several Malay groups and political parties to go ahead with a rally next month.

The PKR chief said the rally, being backed by Umno and PAS, was now a “naughty political gimmick”.

Anwar also questioned an excuse given by the organisers that they wished to thank the government for backing down on signing ICERD.

“I think it is illogical. I have held many rallies. We had gathered in the name of principles, to repeal the Internal Security Act, to demand clean elections, to fight injustice, but this, this rally has no principles.

“This rally is being held to show agreement in (the government’s) rejection of ICERD. What is going on?”

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the party’s members would also take part in the rally to thank the government over its decision.