Hundreds throng city centre for Solidarity for Peace rally

Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waytha Moorthy and Mujahid Yusof Rawa (second and third from left) leading the march to Dataran Merdeka. On the left is Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians from all walks of life have begun arriving at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman here this morning for the Solidarity for Peace rally.

The rally, aimed at sending a message to the world that Malaysians reject any violence following the New Zealand mosque massacre that left 50 people killed, will go on until 11.30am.

At 8.30am, an estimated 500 people, including ministers, religious leaders and members of NGOs, had gathered in front of the Sogo shopping complex for the march to Dataran Merdeka.

They were clad mostly in white.

New Zealand High Commissioner Hunter Nottage (in black jacket) hugging Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa on arrival at the rally.

The crowd, led by ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa and P Waytha Moorthy, held banners and chanted slogans rejecting extremism.

Using the symbol of a white dove with a hibiscus backdrop, the rally is expected to be attended by the religious bodies of Sikhism, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam as well as more than 50 NGOs.

Participants holding placards calling for love and condemning the Christchurch shootings.

At Dataran Merdeka, the representatives of each religion is scheduled to give a speech on solidarity bearing messages of peace, in addition to a speech by a relative of Malaysian Mohd Haziq Mohd Tarmizi, 17, who was among the 50 killed.

Mujahid will also give a speech before symbolically launching the Peace for Solidarity rally.

Another highlight will be the reading of the 2019 KL Peace Declaration, which declares the opposition of Malaysians to any form of hate and violence.

The rally is organised by the Prime Minister’s Department (Islamic Religious Affairs Division) and the Committee to Promote Inter-Religious Understanding and Harmony with cooperation from the Civil Society Organisation (CSO).