PETALING JAYA: PAS today praised Dr Mahathir Mohamad for not attending the Human Rights Day event organised by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) in line with Putrajaya’s decision not to ratify an international rights treaty.
The Islamist party’s deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the prime minister’s decision should be emulated by other Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders.
This, he said, would reduce the inconsistencies concerning the government’s stand on the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
“It is hoped that after this, no leaders from PH will paint a different picture (of the treaty), otherwise it will serve to reinforce the perception that Putrajaya’s decision not to ratify the ICERD is only temporary,” he said in a statement.
Yesterday, Mahathir, who is also the PH chairman, said he could not attend the pro-human rights celebration, which was held today, after the government decided not to ratify ICERD.
“Suhakam wants to accept ICERD, so, how can I go?” he was quoted as saying after chairing a PH presidential council meeting.
Mahathir was initially scheduled to launch Suhakam’s Human Rights Day celebration at Padang Timur here on Saturday. But the event was postponed on advice by the police which cited security risks, as it would have taken place on the same day as an anti-ICERD rally in Kuala Lumpur.
In November, the PH government said it would not ratify the ICERD. The treaty was opposed by Malay rights groups and some political parties, which warned that it posed a threat to Malaysia’s affirmative action policy.
Tuan Ibrahim said Suhakam should support Mahathir’s stand and the wishes of “millions of Malaysians who rallied in Kuala Lumpur yesterday” against ratifying the treaty.
To act otherwise would give the impression that Suhakam has become a tool for foreign parties, which did not understand the situation in Malaysia.