Malaysiakini News

Sources: Cabinet won't stop Saturday's anti-Icerd rally

Lu Wei Hoong  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Despite Umno, PAS and other Malay right wings calling for a 500,000-strong crowd to attend the anti-International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd) rally, the cabinet will not impose any heavy-handed measure on them.

While the rally is seen as having potential to create chaos, three government sources said the cabinet is not perturbed about it.

A minister, who requested anonymity, said the cabinet meeting tomorrow would not discuss any move to halt the rally.

“I think the cabinet meeting won't discuss how to block anti-Icerd rally. We have talked about the rally and said it will proceed,” the source told Malaysiakini.

No matter the size of the crowd, the government has the plan to encounter if any problems are caused, the minister added.

“If the crowd is small, we can say the rally has failed. If the crowd is big, we can say we are more democratic and better than the BN during its era. We don't go against rallies.”

Agreeing with this argument, another minister said the authorities would take action if any chaos occurs.

'We are not afraid of them creating a riot'

“We are not afraid of them creating a riot during the anti-Icerd rally. If they want to make fuss, we will just take the necessary action,” the minister said.

A deputy minister pointed out that the relevant government agencies have coordinated to facilitate rally.

“I don't think it will become an issue. All agencies have been coordinating to ensure a peaceful assembly. The police will take action if necessary.”

During the BN era, the police would have taken action against the organisers prior to the holding of a rally. In 2015, police arrested Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah before the Bersih 5 rally was held.

Two days ago, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man predicted that more than half-a-million people would turn up for the anti-Icerd gathering.

He said Umno is expected to mobilise some 200,000 people and PAS, some 300,000 people.

Various quarters have urged the organisers to cancel the gathering over concerns that it could ignite racial tension.

Kelantan mufti Mohamad Shukri Mohamad and Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor also said there was no need to hold the gathering since the government has decided against ratifying the convention.

Further reading: The Icerd outrage: How it was sparked and the facts

Special Report

The ICERD Outrage

Malaysia is one of only two Muslim-majority countries in the world that have not ratified ICERD.

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