Some 20 activists claiming to represent 21 NGOs protested against former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad's call for a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to investigate the granting of citizenship to one million foreigners before Merdeka.
Saying that the remark had hurt the feelings of Chinese and Indians, they demanded that Mahathir apologises within seven days.
The leader of the group, A Rajaretinam, who is Malaysian Indian Progressive Association (Mipas) chairperson, criticised Mahathir for having forgotten that his ancestors originated from India.
"If Tunku did not give citizenship to Mahathir's ancestor, Mahathir would not be here!" Rajaretinam declared, and he called on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to make an official stand on Mahathir's statement.
The protesters, who gathered around the water fountain in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, around noon, carried banners referring to Mahathir as "most ashamed man", "biggest liar" and "nation traitor".
Rajaretinam also called for a police investigation against Mahathir for his statement.
At the end of protest, Rajaretinam announced that they would organise a bigger rally against Mahathir on Feb 17.