PM ‘thanks’ rally participants for celebrating govt’s decision

Sea of people: Anti-Icerd rally-goers gathering at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

PETALING JAYA: In an apparent jab, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad thanked participants of the anti-Icerd rally for celebrating the non-ratification of the United Nations convention.

“We know the gathering was attended by one million people,” he said sarcastically.

“So, I want to say thank you to them for gathering in celebrating (the government’s decision against ratifying the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination).

“One million people, thank you,” he said after chairing Pakatan Harapan’s presidential council meeting at Menara Yayasan Selangor yesterday.

Dr Mahathir also said he made a good call for deciding against ratifying Icerd.

“I’ve made a good decision and I’m thankful that I made a good decision,” he said.

At the same time, Dr Mahathir said he will not attend the International Human Rights Day celebration today.

Dr Mahathir was supposed to be the guest of honour at the event organised by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).

“I decided that we will not accept Icerd. Suhakam wants to accept Icerd.

“So, how can I go?” he said.

The Human Rights Day celebration was initially supposed to take place yesterday at Padang Timur in Petaling Jaya, while the anti-Icerd rally was held in Kuala Lumpur.

However, on Dec 7, Suhakam had decided to postpone the celebration to today after being advised to do so by Dr Mahathir and the police.

Dr Mahathir said the celebration had to be postponed because the police were shorthanded and would face difficulties handling the two events in separate locations.

“It was postponed to another date because we were afraid that the rally would have a huge turnout and it would then require many officers,” he said.

“It’s not that we are against demonstrations. It was postponed to another date so the police won’t be too pressured,” he added.

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