Rally-goers marched from Sogo to Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on December 8 (Photo: www.malaymail.com)
 
Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Over 50,000 Malaysians gathered in Kuala Lumpur's Dataran Merdeka on December 8 afternoon in a rally.

The rally was backed by the two largest Malay opposition parties, United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his spouse also attended the rally.
According to police, the number of protestors taking to the streets for the rally is six times less than the figure the organisers estimated previously.
 
It was originally intended as a protest against a plan by the government to ratify the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

In late November, the Malaysian Government announced not to ratify the convention. However, Muslim groups pushed ahead with the demonstration, which alongside the convention has become about the bigger issue of defending Malays' position in society and Islam.

Regarding to the protest, the Vietnamese Embassy to Malaysia earlier issued an emergency warning to Vietnamese football fans, who will come to Malaysia to cheer on their side in the final first leg of the tournament scheduled on December 11.

Accordingly, they are advised to reduce traveling to Dataran Merdeka. Besides bearing passports with validity of at least six months, they should protect their personal documents and belongings and must respect Malaysia’s legal regulations as well as customs and practices of the country, including no smoking and drinking alcohol at public and wine-banned restaurants.

In case of emergency, they should contact the embassy’s hotline of  +60 321 484 534, 06 321 410 709 or the citizen protection hotline of +84 981848484. -VNA