PAS and Umno claim 500,000 will attend rally

KUALA LUMPUR: PAS and Umno are claiming that half a million supporters will gather during Satur­day’s anti-Icerd rally in the city centre.

PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the party was expected to mobilise between 300,000 and 350,000 supporters for the rally to protest against Icerd (International Convention on the Eli­mination of Racial Discrimi­na­tion).

About 1,000 members of the party’s Badan Amal volunteer body will be there to maintain security and safety, he said.

“We have told participants to use their handphone cameras to record any incident of provocation and hand the recordings over to the police,” he said at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

He said PAS had not printed any specific T-shirts for the rally.

Tuan Ibrahim is confident that the rally will proceed peacefully as “it is a gathering to welcome the government’s decision not to ratify the convention”.

“There is no need to worry as this (rally) is nothing to do with racial issues but a national issue,” he said.

Umno’s Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said the party was expected to mobilise 200,000 of its members for the rally.

“So, you can expect about 500,000 people who will gather in white shirts.

“The city will be ‘bleached’. We will make it white this Saturday,” he said at the Parliament lobby.

The anti-Icerd rally, organised by several pro-Muslim-Malays NGOs, were given the go-ahead on Monday by Kuala Lumpur City Hall and the police to hold the gathering at Jalan Raja from 2pm to 6pm on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Barisan Nasional secretary-general Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz will not join the rally as he is satisfied with the government’s decision to not ratify the anti-racial discrimination convention.

“I won’t attend. I’m very focused on what I want from the government, that is for them to retract the decision to ratify it, and they’ve done that. I’m satisfied.

“If we can’t believe the Prime Mi­­nister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad), then who can we believe?” he said at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

Nazri stressed that his decision not to attend was made in his personal capacity although Umno members are expected to join PAS in the rally.

He said he was happy that the government had given the rally the go-ahead.

“This is in line with their New Malaysia,” he added.

Members of Malay rights group Perkasa are expected to join the rally as well.

Dr Mahathir had earlier said the government would not ratify Icerd.

As such, the rally organisers said the gathering would now be one of a “celebration” rather than a protest.

Malaysia is one of only 14 countries that have yet to ratify Icerd. The other countries which have not ratified the convention included North Korea, Myanmar and South Sudan.

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