By: Cynthia Mahendran
Editor: Teo Shao Yun
KUALA LUMPUR, 8 Dec— Malaysia is on the lookout to implement the International Convention on the Elimination of All Form of Racial Discrimination (commonly known as ICERD). A number of citizens joined the recent Anti-ICERD rally held to express their views on rejecting the ratification of ICERD.
ICERD is an international human rights agreement outlining specific standards and steps that should be taken by a country to prevent, eliminate, and redress racism and racial discrimination. It was adopted by the United Nations in 1965.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad guarded his choice not to ratify ICERD in hopes to help the Malays.
“If we want them (the Malays) to be able to catch up with those in front of them, they must be given the opportunity to catch up,” he stated, also adding that not all races stand a chance in terms of opportunities.
Prime Minister’s 17 years old granddaughter Melia Serena, however, took to Instagram to express her disappointment on the amount of turnout at the Anti-ICERD rally.
She posted on her Instagram story with the caption “Disgusting. Take all offence, I don’t care. Extremely disappointing.”
A media influencer Nalisa Alia Amin compared the Bersih rally and Anti-ICERD rally saying “at least Bersih fought for fair elections for all. Anti-ICERD is basically just narrow-minded Malays shouting at the sky.”
Also stating that she isn’t a “westernized” Malay just because she wants the same privilege as Malays for the other races in Malaysia.
DAP political leader, Lim Kit Siang agreed that Malaysia should not ratify ICERD until the majority has acknowledged the fact that it is not a threat to the various races, religions or the federal constitution.
As of 2018, 179 countries have ratified ICERD, with only 18 countries failing to do so, leaving Malaysia into one of those countries together with North Korea, Brunei, Myanmar, South Sudan, Angola and Bhutan.
As for the Muslim nations, only Malaysia and Brunei has yet to ratify ICERD, unlike their fellow counterparts such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia, Palestine, Iran and Iraq who have all ratified the convention.