KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) will be done with 'reservations', says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (pic).
“Malaysia can ratify with reservations, which means that we can ratify the convention while still adhering to existing laws and provisions under the Federal Constitution,” he said told reporters at Parliament lobby Monday (Oct 29).
He said that the ratification of the convention would be done in the context of the cultural heritage and constitutional framework was such as the special position of the Malays and Bumiputera rights.
Dr Mujahid also took to task Malay rights groups, including PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi for claiming that Malay rights would be abolished if the convention is ratified here.
“There is talk which has gone viral that that signing the treaty will take away Malay rights.
"We are worried that such talk will give rise to racial animosity and tension," he added.
Dr Mujahid noted that any ratification of international convention does not necessarily mean an automatic revocation of existing laws or constitutional provisions.
“This means that if we sign the treaty, it will not change what is currently practised unless such laws are tabled and passed in Parliament," he added.
He urged Malay rights groups to meet him for a better understanding of the issue to avoid making unnecessary statements that could fan racial sentiments.
To date, Malaysia has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Malaysia has yet to ratify six other treaties, namely the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture or UNCAT), International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, and International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED).