KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 ― Malaysians living in Kelantan will get to sleep in a little longer on Sunday, thanks to the upcoming anti-International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) rally.
The Kelantan state government has declared Sunday as a public holiday to allow people there attend the rally a day earlier.
PAS, Umno and some NGOs are responsible for the rally, and the Islamist party controls both Kelantan and Terengganu.
Kelantan mentri besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob made the announcement shortly after a state executive council meeting at the Kota Darul Naim complext in Kota Baru just moments ago.
“I call on all Malaysians to attend this gathering as a show of love to Malaysia with a clear message so that the harmony of the multi-racial society in Malaysia is looked after.
“In light of that, the Kelantan state government has declared a public holiday in Kelantan on 9 December 2018 (Sunday) to allow the people of Kelantan to manage and plan their journey to the rally in a safe manner,” he said in a statement.
ICERD is a United Nations treaty, which Malaysia planned to sign, but has since backtracked after uproar from right-wing Malay-Muslim groups, who feared that the treaty would result in loss of Malay special privileges and rights.
The rally was initially planned as a protest against Putrajaya’s bid to ratify ICERD, but has morphed into a “thanksgiving” rally after the government decided against the ratification.
Authorities have repeatedly urged organisers not to go ahead with the event, saying it was now moot.
On Monday, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) gave its approval for the organisers to use Jalan Raja for the event, with the police following suit.