Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has advised its citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Kuala Lumpur in light of the rallies scheduled to be held in the city tomorrow.
In a travel advisory issued today, the ministry said: “According to media reports, a large-scale rally will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at Dataran Merdeka on 8 December 2018.
“Current indications are that the turnout at the event may number in the tens of thousands.”
The rally against the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd), which is supported by Umno and PAS, is scheduled to take place at the aforementioned location.
The travel advisory also stated, though not by name, the Human Rights Commission's (Suhakam) event to celebrate International Human Rights Day that was also scheduled to take place tomorrow: “There are also media reports of another large rally taking place in Petaling Jaya at Padang Timur on the same day.”
According to Malaysian government sources, police have advised Suhakam to postpone its event.
The Singaporean ministry cautioned that “as with large congregations or demonstrations, there is a possibility that limited and isolated skirmishes might take place. There may also be traffic disruptions and other disturbances that will impact travellers”.
It urged Singaporeans who were currently in Malaysia to remain vigilant and avoid major gatherings, as well as monitor local media for developments and heed instructions from local authorities.
Additionally, it encouraged Singaporeans to register information about their travel itinerary with the ministry’s eRegister system, as well as to purchase comprehensive travel and medical insurance.
“Singaporeans are also reminded to stay in touch with family and friends to let them know you are safe,” it added.
Based on the ministry’s website, this is the first travel advisory Singapore has issued for Malaysia since last year, when it issued a travel notice for eastern Sabah.
Malaysia is one of only two Muslim-majority countries in the world that have not ratified ICERD.