PETALING JAYA: The anti-Icerd (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) rally was a victory for the "New Malaysia" but a setback for Pakatan Harapan, says Lim Kit Siang (pic).
The DAP adviser said the rally was a demonstration that the government would always respect the rights of the people to speak and assemble peacefully, as long as it followed the provisions of the law and the Federal Constitution.
"I said it was a setback for Pakatan to build a New Malaysia because said Saturday's (Dec 8) rally would not have happened if the Pakatan government had handled the Icerd issue better.
"The organisers of the anti-Icerd rally came to destroy and not to create a New Malaysia," he said.
Lim said that the government should not have allowed the anti-Icerd organisers to "hijack, twist, distort" the Icerd debate with "toxic politics".
"This is a lesson the Pakatan government must learn quick and fast, or both Pakatan and the great vision of a New Malaysia will be destroyed," he said on his blog post on Sunday (Dec 9).
On Saturday (Dec 8), the rally was held to celebrate the government’s decision not to ratify the United Nations convention.
The government had decided not to ratify Icerd amid rising protests by opponents who claimed that it would jeopardise the special rights of Malays and bumiputras in the country.
Lim said as the country was a plural society, it was of utmost importance that the unity and harmony of its diverse races, languages, cultures and religions in Malaysia was the paramount goal of the nation.
"For this reason, Malaysia should not ratify Icerd until the majority of the races and religions in Malaysia are comfortable with it, support it and understand that it poses no threat to the various races, religions or the Federal Constitution but a step forward to join the world in promoting human rights," he said.