PETALING JAYA: A pro-human rights rally is set to be launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday, the same day as the anti-ICERD rally.
Organised by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), the rally will be held from 9am to 3pm at Padang Timur here.
Themed “Stand Up 4 Human Rights”, it is being held in conjunction with International Human Rights Day which falls on Dec 10.
It will be Suhakam’s first pro-human rights rally.
Mahathir and Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Bakar are scheduled to speak during the rally.
The rally will be advocating Right to life, Right to Education and Sustainable Development goals.
Events during the rally include performances by Kumpulan Wayang Kulit Warisan Seni Performance, Nana the Poet, Tarian Sewang by orang asli from Pulau Carey and Genjy Buskers.
Human Rights Day is observed every year on Dec 10 – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Meanwhile, Petaling Jaya district police chief ACP Mohd Zani Che Din said the organisers had fulfilled the formalities that are required of them by the police.
Mohd Zani stressed that it was not an event that could pose a threat to the general public.
“This is not a protest rally, it is in fact to celebrate the International Human Rights Day. There will be exhibition booths from various government organisations as well, so it is not a protest rally,“ he added.
The Petaling Jaya district headquarters alongside organisations including the Malaysian Prisons Department, Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission (EAIC) and Amnesty International will be setting up booths during the rally.
Meanwhile on the same day, crowds are expected to gather in Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, at 2pm for a rally against the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
The rally organisers of the anti-ICERD (International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination) rally on Saturday at Dataran Merdeka do not seem to have an aim as to what they want to achieve, said Tawfik Ismail.
Tawfik, son of former deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, said they had previously claimed that they wanted to protect Malay rights but since the government has decided not to ratify it, the rally is no longer relevant.
He said it is quite funny the way the rally organisers keep changing their minds.
He said the Bersih rally had a clear aim whilst the Dec 8 rally seems to be organised to promote politicians.
“They now decided to hold a thanksgiving rally by inviting 500,000 Umno and PAS members to join them. This seems to be a way for politicians to attract attention to themselves and not the issue itself,“ he said.