ICERD rally pointless as Malay rights are preserved, says ex-Umno MP

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 02 Dec 2018

PETALING JAYA: It is pointless to hold the anti-ICERD mass rally, says a former Umno MP.

Former Sungai Benut MP Mohamed Tawfik Ismail today (Dec 2) questioned the need for both PAS and Umno to rally against the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) as "Malay rights are already protected", as reported by the news portal Free Malaysia Today.

“It is pointless (to hold the rally). I do not think they have anything to fight for. Their rights are already preserved. It does not make any difference to the rights of the Malays if ICERD is ratified.

“They should not rally. What are you rallying for, unless you are having a motorcycle rally?” he reportedly said.

Tawfik, who is the son of late deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, disagreed with the decision, saying that it is "wrong" to do so.

"The government needs to discuss with the stakeholders, and take the politics out of it.

“It is disappointing it has not been ratified. You cannot really put yourself in the same position as North Korea and Myanmar. Why should we be associated with them? (We should) lump ourselves with the Middle Eastern countries supporting ICERD,” he said.

Malaysia is one of 14 countries in the world that has yet to ratify ICERD, alongside the likes of North Korea, Myanmar and South Sudan.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has said that it is compulsory ("wajib") for Muslims to oppose ICERD because it will otherwise make Islam "the same" as other religions.

He also claimed that ICERD was part of the "Freemason's agenda" to destroy religion, race and country (agama, bangsa dan negara).

However, many Muslims countries, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and Indonesia have already ratified ICERD.

The debate over ICERD erupted after a speech by Dr Mahathir at the United Nations General Assembly in September, where he said the Pakatan Harapan government would ratify the remaining human rights conventions endorsed by the world body.

It was reported last month that the organisers of the Dec 8 mass anti-ICERD rally in Kuala Lumpur has claimed "victory", following the government's decision not to ratify it.

Aminuddin Yahaya, secretariat chief of the Malay-Muslim NGO Ummah, said the Dec 8 rally would continue as planned, but this time as a celebration.

“It will go ahead, to celebrate the victory of the rakyat's move to pressure the government into rejecting ICERD,” Aminuddin said.

The organisers aim to have one million participants attending. Messages have been circulating on WhatsApp and other online platforms warning of possible trouble from the event.

PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has also claimed that the anti-ICERD gathering is "not a racial rally".

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