Controversial May 13 rally postponed

Regina Lee (Malaysiakini)

A controversial ‘Melayu Bangkit’ rally in Terengganu tomorrow to commemorate May 13 has been postponed indefinitely.

Chief organiser Razali Idris of the Gerakan Kebangkitan Rakyat (Gertak) said co-organiser Terengganu Integrity Institute (TII) had advised that the rally be postponed.

“There are still a lot of people who do not understand our true objectives. We do not want this issue to be politicised by those who don’t know,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted.

He also said that TII had urged them to postpone the date of the rally due to “wrong timing”, without elaborating further.

“I don’t want the rally to be hijacked by irresponsible parties. At the moment, a lot of people still don’t really know the true purpose of the gathering and have been making comments about it without knowing the full picture.

“And then there are those who purposely spread lies about the rally,” he said.

‘Not cancelled’

He stressed that the rally is not cancelled, and that a new date for the rally will be announced soon.

“I will still have to let (former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad) know of the new date so that he can still come for the function,” he said.

The rally, which means “Malays rise up” in English, was organised to “motivate” the Malay community and commemorate the 41st anniversary of the bloody May 13 racial riots.

The initial plan was to rally 10,000 people at the Gong Badak Indoor Stadium and 45 Malay rights NGO, but this has been panned by several Barisan Nasional component parties as well as those in Pakatan Rakyat.

Many have questioned the timing of the rally, which coincides with the 41st anniversary of the country’s bloodiest racial riots, and that it was “dangerous” and “insensitive”.

However, Razali had previously insisted that the rally was not meant to provoke, threaten or insult other races. He had also said that the rally is apolitical, and is merely to “awaken the Malay race into making sure that the May 13 incident never happens again”.

In another development, it was reported that the Integrity Institute of Malaysia (IIM) have distanced themselves from the function, saying that they have nothing to do with the Terengganu Integrity Insitute, and that it comes under the direct control of the state government.

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