KUALA LUMPUR: The rally against the ratification of the United Nations’ International Convention on The Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) today ended peacefully around 4.50pm.
The crowd began dispersing after the final speech, ending the event with no untoward incidents reported.
The anti-ICERD rally officially began at 2pm and ended at 4.50pm, ahead of the 6pm deadline set by Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL).
It started drizzling halfway through PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s speech.
However, the estimated crowd of 50,000 remained unperturbed, as they listened to Hadi, the last leader to give a speech at the rally.
Hadi thanked the government’s decision not to ratify ICERD but expressed concern based on statements by Pakatan Harapan leaders which implied signs of a reversal in the decision.
“Hence, we cannot stop this struggle.
“If they (PH) dare to bring it to Parliament again, we will call millions to take it to the streets as this is also a peaceful democracy,” he said.
Umno president and opposition leader Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who spoke before Hadi, said Malay Muslims will rise united against the government of the day if their rights and privileges are tampered with.
He said the cooperation between PAS and Umno was based on Malay and Islam-related issues.
“I want PAS and Umno to unite from today onwards. Are we willing to assemble for the sake of Islam?
“Can we cast aside PAS’ and Umno’s differences in the name of Malay and Islam, without setting aside the interests of other races?” he asked. The crowd cheered in agreement.
Other leaders who addressed the crowd included PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan, PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad and Umno Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.
Surprisingly, former prime minister Najib Razak, who was present at the event with his wife Rosmah Mansor, wasn’t called up to the stage to give his speech.
However, in a Facebook posting, Najib said the rally had sent a good message to the PH government that the people wanted to protect their rights and stay united under the 1Malaysia concept.