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23 Nov 2018 | 10:24 AM UTC

Malaysia: Protests around controversial UN racism convention

Malaysia News Alert

Government decides not to ratify controversial UN racism convention after heated national debate and protests; further associated protests possible

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/23/2018, 12:00 AM until 12/8/2018, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kuala_Lumpur). COUNTRY/REGION Malaysia

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The government announced on Friday, November 23, that it would not ratify the UN’s International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), contrary to initial statements made back in September. This intention to ratify had created a heated controversy in the country and sparked localized protests, including protests by right-wing groups on Friday in the capital Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu (Sabah).

It is yet unconfirmed whether a rally planned to take place in Kuala Lumpur on December 8 against the convention will still go ahead. The rally was called by the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) and the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) opposition party, who strongly opposed the convention.


Individuals in Malaysia should avoid all gatherings as a precaution.


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