No decision on the ICERD ratification yet

KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government guarantees that the Article 153 of the Federal Constitution that stipulates the reservation of quotas in respect or services, permits etc. for Malays and natives of the Sabah and Sarawak will be preserved in relation to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discriminations (ICERD) Ratification.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, (National Unity and Social Well-Being) Senator Waytha Moorthy Ponnusamy said, the Article 153 of the Federal Constitution will be maintained and currently there is no decision on the ratification as consultation sessions with all interests groups will be held in early 2019.

“The consultation sessions on the ICERD Ratification will be held as suggested by the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad,” said Waytha at the Dewan  Rakyat (Parliament) today.

He also added that there is no time limit for the Ratification of ICERD. 

Waytha said that in his reply to Member of Parliament for Pengerang, Datuk Seri Azlina Othman’s question as whether the ICERD Ratification will abolish Clause 153 of the Federal Constitution that includes the services and permits affecting the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak.   

ICERD Ratification has been brought up by one of the component parties in PH recently and has resulted in many political parties especially UMNO and non-governmental organizations (NGO) to protest strongly against it.   

Ponnusamy added, the issue of ICERD Ratification has been brought up during the Barisan Nasional’s regime in 2010 which has suggested that a detailed study should be done whether the ratification contravenes the Federal Constitution. 

“The ICERD Ratification is also brought up in line with Dr. Mahathir’s statement in the 73rd United Nations (UN) Assembly in September that the new PH government will do whatever is necessary to enhance its international engagements,” he said.

Among Dr. Mahathir’s quotation at the UN Assembly:

“The new Malaysia will firmly espouse the principles promoted by the UN in our international engagements. These include the principles of truth, human rights, the rule of law, justice, fairness, responsibility and accountability, as well as sustainability. It is within this context that the new government of Malaysia has pledged to ratify all remaining core UN instruments related to the protection of human rights. It will not be easy for us because Malaysia is multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multicultural and multilingual. We will accord space and time for all to deliberate and to decide freely based on democracy.”

Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Pasir Gudang, Hassan Abdul Karim suggested that the government should deal seriously on the current economic situation of the people instead of discussing on ICERD Ratification. – Malaysia World News

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