KUALA LUMPUR - Hundreds of Malaysians of all races took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (March 23) to promote peace and solidarity for the victims of the Christchurch terror attack in which 50 Muslim worshippers were killed during prayers.
The crowd, mostly clad in white T-shirts, gathered in front of a shopping mall in the heart of the city as early as 6.30am, before marching towards the Merdeka Square about 1km away.
At the rally, Malaysia's Islamic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, who participated together with several other Pakatan Harapan leaders, read out a five-point declaration.
"The world must be defended from any act of terror. The tragedy in Christchurch was a shocking incident when there are so many movements in this world fighting to promote peace," Mr Mujahid said.
"The act of terror in New Zealand cannot be associated with any religion or any race in this world. Terrorism is not born from any religion, no race was born with hatred... Terrorism has no face. Therefore, our declaration today condemns any act of discrimination, violence and killing in the name of religion or ethnicity."
The aunt of 17-year-old Muhammad Haziq Mohd Tarmizi who died in the shooting, was also present among the crowd. Zarina Shuib told reporters that she was touched by the overwhelming support.
Mr Haziq's father, Mohd Tarmizi Shuib, 42, was also injured during the attack and is receiving treatment for gunshot wounds.
Participants in Saturday's rally carried Malaysian flags and banners promoting peace and solidarity for the victims of the Christchurch attack.
On March 15, white supremacist gunman who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant - a 28-year-old Australian - entered Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch and began shooting indiscriminately at worshippers, killing more than 40 people there. He then drove to Linwood mosque, shooting and wounding worshippers.
The terror attack sparked global outrage, with many condemning the act on social media. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday also called for a global response to the dangers of social media.
Ms Ardern said that while her focus was on the people of New Zealand, there were issues world leaders needed "to confront collectively".