Singapore issues travel advisory for KL ahead of large-scale rallies – here’s what you should know

The Straits Times

This article was updated at 5:10pm on Dec 7.

A large-scale rally with expected turnout of up to half a million people is set to take place in Malaysia’s Klang Valley on Saturday (Dec 8).

In an advisory issued on Friday (Dec 7), Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said that Singaporeans are “advised to defer all non-essential travel to Kuala Lumpur (KL) for the time being”.

“As with large congregations or demonstrations, there is a possibility that limited and isolated skirmishes might take place. There may also be traffic disruptions and other disturbances that will impact travellers,” the authority said.

Singaporeans who are currently in Kuala Lumpur are also advised to “stay vigilant and avoid large gatherings, monitor local media for developments and heed the instructions of the local authorities”.

MFA also runs the eRegister, which allows them to contact Singaporeans who are in affected areas should the need arise.

On top of travel and medical insurance, Singaporeans should also stay in touch with family and friends to provide updates of their status in case of emergencies.

Those who need consular assistance in Kuala Lumpur may contact the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at 6379 8800 / 8855.

One rally postponed

Two major rallies were initially set to take place in Malaysia’s Klang Valley on Saturday.

But one of the rallies to celebrate Human Rights Day has been postponed to Dec 9, The Star reported.

Organised by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), the gathering was meant to mark Human Rights Day, which falls on Dec 10. It was expected to be much smaller, with 3,000 participants, The Star said.

According to The Star on Friday afternoon, it will now be postponed to a later date due to  “serious security risks”, its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismai said on Friday afternoon.

Large-scale rally with 500,000 people

The rally that will carry on is organised by a group which includes opposition groups Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), Umno and Malay-Muslim non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

According to local media, they plan to hold a public demonstration at an open field in Kuala Lumpur (KL).

New Straits Times reported that about 10,000 representatives from these three parties will monitor and coordinate the public demonstration.

Around 500,000 anti-International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) protesters will gather in KL at Dataran Merdeka from 2pm to 6pm to celebrate the non-ratification of the United Nations covenant, New Straits Times reported.

The Malaysian government recently backed away from ratifying the ICERD. Many Malay-Muslim groups had expressed concern that ratifying the ICERD would dilute their rights through changes to the bumiputera policy.

The government of Kelantan, which is PAS-led, has even declared Sunday a public holiday in support of the event.