The rally last Saturday against the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd) would have been more successful if it involved an equal number of non-Malays, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said today.
Razaleigh, who chairs Umno's advisory council, pointed out that Malaysia is a multiracial country and that unity should be forged with people from all ethnic backgrounds.
“In one aspect, it (the rally) was good. It was good in terms of Malay unity.
"But I would have liked it better if there was an equally large number of non-Malays (participating).
“We are a multiracial country. It cannot be just about the Malays… It would have been better if we forged unity within our multiracial society,” he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.
The Umno veteran was speaking to reporters after attending the wedding reception of DAP's Zairil Khir Johari and Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud in Ipoh last night.
'We share our lives'
Razaleigh also said that the Malays must accept the fact that they live among other ethnic groups, and that they cannot have everything for themselves.
“We (the Malays) must invite them to join us (at the rally). If you keep talking (about) it being about the Malays and Islam, they would not want to join.
“Whether we like it or not, we live and work together (with other ethnic groups). There must be give and take.
"We cannot have everything only for ourselves, we have to share. We share a common sky and land, and we share our lives despite our different religions,” he said.
On Icerd, Razaleigh said he believed that the treaty could be ratified in the future, provided the ramifications are explained clearly to the public.
He added that the ratification of Icerd is not about amending the Federal Constitution nor removing any part of it.
"And we probably cannot accept it now because our people have not reached a level where we can compete.
"We still have people with different standards of living. So we cannot accept it for now as we fear there will be misunderstandings.
“It is better for us to explain it to the people so that the people can accept it with an open heart."