PETALING JAYA: Concentrate on the waning economy, rather than the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) which is against the Federal Constitution and the social contract of the nation, says former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He said that the previous Barisan Nasional government twice studied ICERD in 2011 and 2015, but dropped the idea of ratifying it because the convention was found to be incompatible with the Federal Constitution.
"Under the BN government, a committee known as ICERD Technical Committee was formed by the Unity and Integrity Department Studies in the Prime Minister's Department in 2011," said Najib in a Facebook posting on Tuesday (Nov 20).
ICERD became a bone of contention as those opposing it said the United Nations convention challenges the rights of the Malays under Article 153 while those for it say that it is an insurance for all races to be given equal treatment.
"The committee's role was to study the compatibility and readiness of Malaysia to ratify or sign the ICERD. This was again done in 2015. From these studies, the BN government decided not to continue (ratification process) as it was against the Federal Constitution and the social contract - both pillars of the nation - as agreed during the formation of the country.
"We decided it was not time yet for us to ratify the ICERD. The government thus never announced we will sign the ICERD. Despite this, we managed to care for the interests and rights of all races in the country.
"I am of the opinion if many are still not able to accept the ratification of ICERD and the insistence of Pakatan Harapan to sign it can instigate the anger and worry of Malaysians, then the decision to ratify it should be stopped. "Instead, it is better for the PH government to focus on the waning economy.
"A bad economy will contribute to the anger and the worry of the nation and tend to instigate unwanted situations," said Najib.
He, however, did not explain what he meant by "unwanted situations".