Nearly a thousand Muslim youths representing non-governmental organisations, political parties (PAS and UMNO) and individuals, led by ISMA (Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia) Perak held a peaceful demonstration on Friday, November 16.
The gathering, at the parking lot of the state mosque along Jalan Sultan Iskandar, Ipoh, commenced around 2 pm following Friday prayers.
The objective was to highlight Malay Muslims’ objection to a possible rectification by Malaysia of the long overdue UN-initiated International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
The convention, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 21, 1965, was enforced on January 4, 1969. As of January 2018 only 88 of the 179 convention members have signed. Malaysia has yet to do so.
Convention members have to eliminate racial discrimination and promote understanding among all races. It too requires members to outlaw hate speech and make membership in racist organisations an offence.
These are the major grouses of the protestors. Acknowledging the convention will nullify Malay privileges, they argued.
The gathering ended peacefully after the organisers handed over a memorandum to a representative of the Perak Bar Committee.