Decision to postpone Suhakam rally was based on concern for safety of Mahathir: IGP

08 Dec 2018 / 10:34 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The police had advised Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) to postpone its human rights day celebration, initially scheduled for today, fearing for the safety of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the public.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun (pix) noted that the initially planned celebration was to have taken place on the same day (today) when thousands were expected to demonstrate against the International Convention On The Elimination Of All Forms Of Racial Discrimination (Icerd).

He said there were worries that should Suhakam’s programme be allowed to carry on, there would be security and safety concerns.

“We are worried that if the event is carried on simultaneously with the Icerd rally, it could lead to security issues. So we advised Suhakam to postpone their event.

“Also, Suhakam’s celebration involves the presence of the prime minister. We don’t want any untoward incidents happening, because in the end, we will be the one that gets the blame.

“So I think the most important thing now is to let us concentrate on this Icerd gathering today,“ he told reporters after attending the Majlis Berkhitan Perdana PDRM 2018 (mass circumcision ceremony), here, today.

Mohamad Fuzi was responding to Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail’s statement yesterday that the commission was advised by the police to postpone its celebration due to security risks, and that he deeply regretted and was disappointed by the move.

The group has since moved its event to tomorrow.

“Suhakam is disappointed that a government that is committed to human rights would seem to be influenced by tactics of pressure and extremism that has resulted in the need to postpone the celebration that was planned a few months ago,“ he had said.

The celebration that was scheduled today in Petaling Jaya was intended to commemorate the International Human Rights Day 2018, with Mahathir supposedly to attend and launch it.

Today’s Icerd demonstration in Kuala Lumpur, meanwhile, is expected to draw tens of thousands of supporters, with top leaders from Umno and PAS also to attend.