SINGAPORE: Last Saturday (Dec 8), thousands of UMNO and PAS supporters marched to Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur to express their displeasure over the Pakatan Harapan government's move to ratify the United Nations (UN) International Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). Although the police estimated that only 55,000 people participated in the rally, claims from the opposition suggest about half a million people attended. A LESSON FOR PAKATAN Notwithstanding the disagreement over the size of the rally, the fact that it took place, received mass support, and forced the Pakatan government to backtrack, proved three points. First, there were strong concerns from Malays that their rights would be jeopardised had the Pakatan proceeded with ratifying the ICERD. Second, even though they make awkward bedfellows, the Pakatan government must not underestimate UMNO's and PAS's ability to work together in rallying the Malay-Muslim ground and undermining its credibility with this segment. Third, Pakatan should not take its electoral victory in May 2018 for granted because the Malay community across rural and urban constituencies can easily turn to the opposition if they feel that their communal interests are under attack. Furthermore, the society which Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad… Read full this story
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