KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional secretary-general Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz is sitting out the anti-ICERD rally as he is satisfied with the government's decision to not ratify the anti-racial discrimination convention.
“I won’t attend. I’m very focused on what I want from the government – that is, for them to retract the decision to ratify it, and they've done that. I’m satisfied.
“If we can’t believe the Prime Minister then who can we believe?” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby here on Tuesday (Dec 4).
Saying that the ICERD is “no longer an issue”, Umno’s Padang Rengas MP stressed that it was his personal choice to sit out the rally, which would be attended by PAS and Umno members.
“I think I clearly said that what I wanted from the government, I have received – that is, for them to not ratify the ICERD.
“I’m very conscious with what I want and I’m very happy with the decision. Personally, I don’t think there's a need for me to be present,” he reiterated.
The former Tourism and Culture Minister also said that he was very happy that the government had given the rally the go-ahead.
“This is in line with their ‘New Malaysia’,” he added.
Both PAS and Umno have declared they would join the rally at Jalan Raja on Saturday (Dec 8), as will members of Malay rights group Perkasa.
The debate over ICERD (the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) erupted after a speech by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the UN General Assembly in September, where he said the Pakatan Harapan government would ratify the remaining human rights conventions endorsed by the world body.
However, after protests and threats of Malays running “amok” by Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the government backtracked and said it would not ratify the anti-racial discrimination convention.
The organisers said the rally would now be one of celebration, rather than protest.
Malaysia is one of only 14 countries in the world that have yet to ratify ICERD, along the likes of North Korea, Myanmar and South Sudan.