Mahathir distances himself from Suhakam human rights rally

Mahathir distances himself from Suhakam human rights rally

Mahathir Mohamad press conference Dec 8, 2018
Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad speaks to the press on Dec 8, 2018. He is flanked by Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Anwar Ibrahim (left) and Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. (Photo: Raj Nadarajan/TODAY)

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has distanced himself from a proposed rally organised by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, or Suhakam, to be held on Sunday (Dec 9) in Petaling Jaya.

He said this was because the Pakatan Harapan government he leads has a different stand from Suhakam on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

"I've decided that we will not accept ICERD. Suhakam wants to accept ICERD. So how can I go?" he told a press conference after chairing a Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council meeting on Saturday.

The rally, planned in conjunction with the 2018 International Human Rights Day, was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, with Dr Mahathir as the special guest but was postponed to Sunday on the advice of the authorities.

READ: Thousands arrive in Kuala Lumpur from across Malaysia for anti-ICERD rally

An anti-ICERD rally was being held in the Malaysian capital on Saturday. Described by organisers as a "thanksgiving" gathering to celebrate the government's decision not to ratify ICERD, the rally saw thousands of UMNO and PAS supporters travel to Kuala Lumpur to lend their support to the cause.

ICERD is a United Nations Convention that condemns discrimination and calls upon states to pursue a policy of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms.

Source: Bernama/hm