Umno, PAS to spearhead anti-ICERD campaign

There have been protests held against Malaysia’s plan to ratify the United Nations treaty.

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno will lead a joint campaign against ICERD with PAS and other non-governmental organisations in a series of roadshows nationwide.

Party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this is in line with the opposition’s stand in opposing the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

“We will spearhead the programmes and campaign against ICERD, which clearly goes against the country’s Federal Constitution.

“I will be speaking on the same stage with PAS president (Abdul Hadi Awang) from Nov 17 at a series of roadshows beginning in Pasir Salak, Perak,” he said after chairing the Umno Supreme Council meeting today.

Umno urged the government to stop all actions which could affect the country’s harmony.

Last week, more than 1,000 people attended a gathering organised by Umno and PAS youth wings at Masjid Jamek to protest against the country’s plan to ratify the United Nations treaty.

It was reported that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia would only ratify ICERD after consulting all races in the country and admitted that it would not be easy as each race was sensitive to certain issues.

Meanwhile, Zahid also expressed disappointment with the government’s efforts to preserve the national oil and gas company’s reserves.

He was commenting on the international rating body Moody’s Investors Service which provided Petronas with a negative outlook.

“We are sad that Petronas reserves have been used to cover the budget’s deficit.

“We are concerned that this move will reduce Petronas’s reserves,” he said.

It was reported that Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed the A1 domestic issuer and foreign currency senior unsecured ratings of Petronas, but changed the outlook from stable to negative.

The rating agency also affirmed the A1 rating for Petronas Capital Ltd’s senior unsecured notes and the US$15 billion medium-term note (MTN) programme as well as sukuk issued through Petronas Global Sukuk Ltd, but changed its outlook to negative from stable.

Moody’s said the rating action was due to the government’s announcement that Petronas would be paying RM26 billion in dividends in 2018 and RM54 billion (inclusive of a one-off special dividend of RM30 billion) in 2019.