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Anwar turns down invitation to attend rally


KUALA LUMPUR: PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has snubbed an invitation to attend the anti-Icerd rally this Saturday, saying his stance on the issue is clear.

Anwar, who was reportedly invited by the organiser, said he stood with the Cabinet on its decision not to ratify the anti-racial discrimination convention.

“I followed the news in the media and have brought a motion here (in Parliament).

“My stand on Icerd is very clear. It supports the stance of the Cabinet, which I will read out today. This is from the Parliament and it’s strong enough, so I don’t need to attend," the Port Dickson MP told reporters at the Parliament lobby here yesterday.

He said according to the plan, other leaders such as DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man would also speak on the Icerd resolution.

“Our plan is to support the statement by the Prime Minister and Cabinet. I think this is enough to curb confusion on the matter. Since the Cabinet has decided not to ratify, we think the Parliament should endorse it,” he said.

Anwar also said it was not rational for the Kelantan government to declare Sunday a public holiday in conjunction with the rally.

Asked if he had advice for former Umno peer Ahmad Zahid, Anwar said the government’s only appeal was to ensure order and peace.

Dewan Rakyat speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof later rejected a motion by Anwar to discuss the Icerd issue in Parliament.

Although rejecting the motion under Standing Order 18(1), Mohamad Ariff allowed Anwar (PH-Port Dickson) the opportunity to explain the reasons behind his motion.

This came after Anwar appealed to Mohammad Arrif to let the motion be discussed, as lawmakers from across the political divide had supported the Cabinet’s recent decision not to ratify the convention.

He said there was international support for Icerd owing to discrimination experienced under apartheid in South Africa and Israel’s discrimination against the Arabs.

“I want to stress that Malaysia does not rejecting the spirit of Icerd. As long as there is no final decision on the interpretation of what was collectively decided under the Constitu­tion, we respect the Cabinet’s and Prime Minister’s decision to reject ratifying Icerd,” he said.

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Anwar Ibrahim , rally , Icerd

   

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