PETALING JAYA: Malaysia should not ratify ICERD until the majority of races and religions in the country support it and understand that it is not a threat to them or the Federal Constitution, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang said today.
Lim said ratifying the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination would be a step forward in joining the world in the promotion of human rights.
The Iskandar Puteri MP said in recent times, Malaysians had become victims of many myths and misconceptions on ICERD “as a result of the escalation of the toxic politics of lies, hate, race and religion by political desperadoes and opportunists in Umno and PAS”.
He said the proposal to ratify ICERD did not stem from a secret agenda to undermine the constitution or attack the position of the Malays, Islam and the Rulers.
“It is a downright lie to claim that ratifying ICERD would undermine the position of Islam.
“This is why most of the Muslim-majority countries of the world, including the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) countries such as Jordan, Palestine and Saudi Arabia have ratified ICERD,” he said in a statement.
Lim said ICERD was compatible with the Federal Constitution, adding that Article 153 was not inconsistent with the aims of ICERD, as Articles 1(4) and 2(2) of the ICERD sought to bring about effective or substantive equality, and not merely formal or superficial equality.
“ICERD does not undermine the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and result in the abolition of the system of Malay Sultans.”
Lim warned that the ICERD issue could become a stumbling block to the New Malaysia vision.
“The new Malaysia vision can still fail if we allow political opportunists and desperadoes to exploit the toxic politics of lies, hatred, race and religion to the extent of unleashing racial and religious conflicts,” he said.
Lim cited how Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had questioned the faith of Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah who wanted the government to ratify ICERD.
He also cited remarks by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang that it was compulsory for Muslims to oppose ICERD while the organisers of this Saturday’s anti-ICERD rally said that the rally was not aimed at other races but at the “traitors” of the nation.
“The PAS president is the vice-president of the International Union of Muslims Scholars but I do not know whether he had ever used the platform of the IUMS to urge the 55 Muslim countries of the OIC who had ratified ICERD to unratify themselves so as to save 99% of the 1.9 billion Muslims in the world, who live in the 179 countries which had ratified ICERD, so that they would not become traitors of Islam,” he said.