KUALA LUMPUR: A coalition of 313 silat associations today submitted a memorandum addressed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at Istana Negara objecting to the United Nations’ International Convention on The Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
The memorandum was received by palace official Azuan Efendiy around 11.15am.
Gabungan Silat Pertahan Perlembagaan (Pertahan) chairman Sahruddin Esa said although they were thankful that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had reversed the decision to ratify ICERD, they were concerned that the matter would be revived in the future.
“We want an assurance on whether it is cancelled or postponed. We have to remember that the harmony between races in the country needs to be preserved. Every time the ICERD issue is raised, it hurts the Malays,” he said at a press conference after submitting the memorandum.
Sahruddin said they were not blaming other races on issues regarding the ICERD but were only objecting to “a certain group of people who are disrupting the national harmony”.
Earlier, about 300 Pertahan members walked from Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan to Gate 3 of Istana Negara to hand over the memorandum.
Prior to the handover, the group took an oath in front of the Istana to solemnly swear allegiance to defend the Agong, the Malays and the country.
This was followed by a “silat hormat” by five silat grandmasters, which they said was a sign of respect to the Agong.
“Please stop labelling silat practitioners as violent people. We showed today that we are not about violence as we do things accordingly in a peaceful manner,” he said.
He said Pertahan would continue its effort, through nationwide road tours, to educate the masses on ICERD and to send memorandums to all the sultans in the country.
On Thursday, KL police chief Mazlan Lazim said there would be two separate rallies against ICERD on Dec 8, with the first being by silat associations, and the second by NGO Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah) which will feature Umno and PAS leaders, to be held along Jalan Raja, between Dataran Merdeka and Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad, from 2pm to 6pm.
Sahruddin said they would not be joining the other rally in Jalan Raja but that they supported the effort, as a sign that the majority of the Malays were against ICERD.