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Monday, October 29, 2018

Truth In Favour Of ICERD

Azlina Harun, Tebrau
The recent bold statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s department in favour of the nation moving towards ratifying the ICERD with reservation and the unsubstantiated fear mongering by various groups needs clear understanding.
Firstly, Malaysia had previously ratified three other being the UN convention on the Rights of the Child (CRW), UN Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRD) with reservation and nothing untoward had happened in Malaysia.
The above ratified treaties have contributed to the enhancement of the public in tandem with direction of a globalised world.
The main purpose I believe of the ICERD is basically to limit or do away of severe implication where the victims are often the most impoverished and disenfranchised with the least access to education, health and opportunities for the economic and social advancement that may change their circumstances. So how can it be detrimental to the nation.
The argument of Article 153 and the threat to it is superfluous and misinterpreted as it is very clear that the very reason it was embedded in our constitution was for the reasons stated above 61 years ago can co-exist with ICERD if it truly serves its purpose to the targeted community.
Today hiding under the pretext of Article 153, politicians and fanatical groups uses it to create fear amongst the Malay community to create unwarranted concerns so that they can continue their own culture of impunity that permeates their own higher strata position in a hierarchical based system.
Even government agencies and institutes have to be skewed to maintain a feudal system as oppose to a need base of the deprived community in Malaysia.
Even majority Muslim countries like Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh have acceded to ICERD with reservation.
The ones who have not signed are countries like North Korea, Myanmar South Sudan and similar authoritarian countries.
I believe majority of the citizens in Malaysia will embrace ICERD even amongst the Bumiputera because we need to evolve and sync ourselves with the globalised world on humanity.

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