Anti-ICERD rally a win for New Malaysia but a setback for Harapan’

December 9, 2018

Anti-ICERD rally a win for New Malaysia but a setback for Harapan’

by Lim Kit Siang  |  Published:  |  Modified:


MP SPEAKS | The peaceful holding of the anti-ICERD rally in Kuala Lumpur yesterday is a victory for New Malaysia but a setback to Pakatan Harapan.

As Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin rightly said after the rally, it was a demonstration that the Pakatan Harapan government will always respect the rights of the people to speak and assemble peacefully, as long as these rights are practised according to the provisions of the law and the Malaysian Constitution.

The former UMNO-BN government have never recognised, respected and upheld the constitutional and democratic right of Malaysians to speak and assemble peacefully, as witnessed what happened to the five Bersih rallies from 2007 to 2016 – Bersih 1 on November 10, 2007; Bersih 2 on July 9, 2011; Bersih 3 on April 28, 2012; Bersih 4 on August 29 and 30, 2015; and Bersih 5 on November 19, 2016.

But there is a major hitch – the organisers of the of the anti-ICERD in Kuala Lumpur did not want a New Malaysia, which was born on the historic day of May 9, 2018, to re-set Malaysian nation-building policies to save Malaysia from the trajectory of a rogue democracy, a failed state, a kakistocracy( cronyism+ and a global kleptocracy and awaits Malaysians to give it flesh, blood and soul to be a world top-class nation – united, democratic, just, progressive and prosperous – which may take one or two decades to accomplish.

The organisers of the anti-Icerd rally came to destroy and not to create a New Malaysia. I said it was a setback for the Pakatan Harapan to build a New Malaysia because yesterday’s rally would not have happened if the Harapan government had handled the Icerd issue better.

As constitutional law expert from Universiti Malaya, Professor Shad Faruqi, has stressed, most of the criticisms against ICERD have no legal basis.

He said: “However, as hate and fear are potent weapons in politics, the perpetrators have succeeded in polarising society and raising the spectre of violence.”

As Shad Faruqi has pointed out, Icerd is neither anti-Malay nor against the Malaysian Federal Constitution. Since yesterday, Malaysia has become the laughing stock of the Muslims in the world, as 99 percent of the 1.9 billion Muslims of the world live in 179 countries which have ratified ICERD, including 55 of the 57 Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) nations.

UKM research fellow, Dr. Denison Jayasooria, wrote a good article in Malaysiakini entitled: ‘Examining Icerd ratification among OIC members’, where he reviewed the ratification by OIC member states, including Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Palestine, and he concluded: “As far as I note, none of them has objections or placed reservations in the name of Islam.”

IiVERD ++ also does not undermine the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, resulting in the abolition of the system of Malay Sultans.

There are 38 countries with the monarchical system, out of which 36 countries have ratified the Icerd including the United Kingdom in 1969, Norway (1970), Sweden (1971), Denmark (1971), Netherlands (1971), Jordan (1974), Belgium (1975), Japan (1995), and Saudi Arabia (1997).

There are absolutely no indications that the ratification of ICERD by these 36 countries have undermined the monarchical system as to lead to their abolition.

But as Malaysia is a plural society, it is of utmost importance that the unity and harmony of our diverse races, languages, cultures and religions in Malaysia must be the paramount goal of the nation.

For this reason, Malaysia should not ratify ICERD until the majority of the races and religions in Malaysia are comfortable with it, support it and understand that it poses no threat to the various races, religions or the Federal Constitution but is a step forward to join the world in promoting human rights.

The Harapan government should not have allowed the organisers of the anti-Icerd rally to hijack, twist and distort the ICERD debate with the toxic politics of lies, hate, fear, race and religion to incite baseless fears that Icerd is anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Malay Rulers, which camouflaged an agenda to allow those responsible for sending Malaysia into the trajectory of a rogue democracy, a failed state, a kakistocracy and a global kleptocracy to make a political comeback and to destroy efforts to re-set nation-building efforts to create a New Malaysia.

This is a lesson the Harapan government must learn quick and fast, or both Harapan and the great vision of a New Malaysia will be destroyed.

LIM KIT SIANG is Iskandar Puteri MP.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

Special Report

The ICERD Outrage

Malaysia is one of only two Muslim-majority countries in the world that have not ratified ICERD.

22 thoughts on “Anti-ICERD rally a win for New Malaysia but a setback for Harapan’

    • To do so, is like asking Trump or Xi to address Tun Dr on the issue of discrimination against a second caste who helped created much of today’s Malaysia.

    • We can even agree on fixing our own internal problems and you want to fix others. Iran and Saudi? Saudi and Yemen? Palestinian and Isreal? Syria and crazy Muslim terrorist?

      Overall, we should mind our own business. How do we help Malay? Ask the right questions for the Malay community to progress? How do we help displace Indian rubber workers? Indian community needs help and we can’t ignore. How do we protect natives land (not Malay)? How do we improve quality of education? Reduce unemployment? Etc!

      Overall, this weekend protest is just remind us …. . I am just kind of sick reading this protest. Bodoh! Macam mana kita boleh bangun negara.


    • Dont bother to talk about justice to these guys,they only know about meritrocrasy ,which basically mean they dont want to share.They have the gall to compare their minor inconveniences with others who have to have unwanted male visitors living in their homes with their women while their men are rounded up in concentration camps and their children placed in orphanages.

    • @AJ, pls be specific on defining the they. Malaysia too has gathered some of her penumpang to live within the confinement of barbed wires called Kampung Baru. US has done the same. But, skittishly, US has at least officially apologized. I am with you on the case for China. But, I just could not comprehend how Syed could only see the injustice done to the Uyghurs, in which no Malaysians could have real power to change, but failed to see the injustice done to the second caste Malaysians for generations, in which any Melayu with food on the table could easily do. Perhaps, the Melayu too have became kiasu, if not kiasi. Kiasi, I could understand. Kiasu? Melayu could do so at the expense of your own race, when Malaysia withers. Welayu, it would be when educated Melayu like yourself would refuse to stand up tall and right.

    • Katasayang
      I have always believe that positive discrimination should be on behalf of the downtrodden regardless of race and I think this what God wants all the people in power to do.Unfortunately politicians almost always stood for all the wrong things in this world.Nevertheless what you consider as discriminations are minor issues in Malaysia since you find that the so called oppressed people are also the richest,the most educated and the most healthy among all the racest in the country.If you are doing business in Malaysia,you will find the people in power are more amenable to help the oppressed businessmen than their own kind partly because of envy and because they feel more at easae in taking money from the so called oppressed people thanthe Melayus.

      This is totally unlike what is happening to the Uighurs where the Government is totally committed to wipe out their culture and religion and transformed them into Han Chinese.Same tactics were also utilised by the Chinese Government against the Tibetans.As for the Israelis they have shot and killed hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza and maimed thousands for just demonstrating against their illegal occupation when these people are of no threat to the fully armed Israeli soldiers.Just imagine the world reaction will be if Malaysian police were to use snipers to shoot at Chinese Malaysian protestets at Bersih Rally?

    • Playing emotive objects of victimization won’t get you ‘Chosen’ Submitters anywhere.

      Just look at the mess of the Iran-Iraq war and the horrific carnage in Syria-Yemen-Somalia and the rest of MENA where the camels roam and you will see that PRC’s cock-up is actually very mild as compared to Mao’s Progroms during the Cultural Revolution.

      The Israeli-Palestinian is beyond complication and requires political (good) will that neither side has.

      Btw blaming the Western Military-Industrial complex for the self inflicted FUBAR among the Submitters is beyond oxymoronic..

    • @aj, it is absolutely not true that the second caste being discriminated against are all wealthy, and smart. It also absolutely not true that the Melayu doing the discrimination are all poor and uneducated. You are one point in case, and you are discriminating every second caste in Malaysia. That is at least a quarter of Malaysians. What you had in minds are the taukeh of half a century ago. Even those, are specific case. If you are talking about Jho Low .. I would say yes. Malaysia is your nation. @aj, you personally deserve the kind of second caste like Jho Low.

  1. So many experts giving their opinions on this issue…but no one addresses what I believe is the key point here… if we ratify and are at some point in the future seen to be disregarding some provision in the treaty, which body will arbitrate?

    It was exactly for the same reason that we ought not to have ratified the TPP…but in this instance President Trump made it easier for us by abandoning it…

    The moment we agree to arbitration by outsiders we are surrendering our sovereignty…which usually can mean we are taken to the cleaners… It has already happened in other situations and with other countries…

    The emotional pull of Human Rights, Equality etc is very strong… but not at the price of stability… Legal brains almost always forget this…

    • It is unstable when there is inequality, just as the reason why NEP and special rights have been created in 1957. You are right, Isa. But, for stability for this Tanah Melayu, the narrative must be different. Not doing so would be to only feed a grown up with only milk. Melayu has already grown too old to be fed with milk alone.

  2. I make reference to several passages and phrases in the article, which are as follows: “………ICERD………poses no threat to the various races, religions or the Federal Constitution………..the………..organisers of the anti-Icerd rally……..hijack, twist and distort the ICERD debate with………toxic politics of lies, hate, fear, race and religion…………….” Upon reading them, three questions came across my mind, and they are: (1) If indeed the ICERD debate was hijacked, twisted and distorted with ‘……toxic politics of lies, hate, fear, race and religion……’, and that it ‘………poses no threat to the various races, religions or the Federal Constitution…….’ as claimed by the Honorable Member of Parliament of Iskandar Puteri in the article, why then didn’t the government use the strong arm of the law against those responsible for dabbling in ‘………toxic politics of lies, hate, fear, race and religion…….’?; (2) If the organizers of the rally had presented their arguments based on ‘….lies, hate, fear, race and religion……’, why then did the government not rebut these arguments, with versions of its own, based on, presumably, the truth, given that it has at its disposal the vast government machinery, and in so doing, negate and pacify the strong emotive effects that these arguments have had on the minds of the Malay Muslim masses?; and (3) Given that none of the above had been done, could it then be adduced that the arguments presented by the rally organizers indeed have solid grounds and strong bases?

    • It is to respect the rights to dissent, albeit the fact that one does not agree to other’s opinion. Hopefully, at least, that is something all could agree to.

  3. The issue is no longer about ICERD. Hadi Awang has successfully tied NEP to his religo political war. He has managed to make oppositional politics main thrust a religo war.

    When PH tries to redraw the constituency to be more balanced, Hadi will again call it a religo war and that will be the real death of New Malaysia

  4. Government with GUTS can face any sort of threats being voiced by a small margin of our population of 31 million people. I thought Mahathir was a changed man after all the mess he created in his PM1 tenure. He cannot change the cry for Malaysia for Malay concept. By not accepting ICERD, does it mean that Malaysia is RACIST?

    In his statement yesterday, he said that foreigners are ahead of Malays so Malays still need the affirmative action after 61 years. Whom did refer to? Indians and Chinese AS FOREIGNERS? What about Mahathir’s background. His grandfather came from India so does he include himself as a foreigner too?

    Many U-Turns OF PH Government show that the government is FICKLE MINDED and appears to have lost its bearings. As PM2, he is going back to his PM1 tenure when he couldn’t damn for meritocracy and insisted on crutches for Malays to survive along with other races besides the IC mess in Sabah just to increase the population to get UMNO into Sabah to take hold of the power. Can you see the mess today? His ‘PUPILS’ in his cabinet have no balls to speak of right and wrong.

    Well, it may not be within this century that we can hope for True Malaysian Malaysia with this sort of leaders. Next in line to take over as PM is no better in his racist remarks of Melayu first and religion next. The older generation will not live to see how their grandchildren would fare under this sort of obsessive mentality. God Bless Malaysia!

  5. I would liken Kit to a Frog who is unaware that it’s slowly being boiled as the temperature of the pot it’s in is incrementally increased.

    Although i marvel at his political tenacity and ethical contortion-ism, i think he’s becoming schizophrenic with his delusions of “New” and Old. I would rather he just shut the hell up and behave as a dignified elder opposition hack that he will always be and has been. He’ll probably protest being placed in a casket at the end of his days. His elder son is even worse.

    This ICERD thingy was so badly mishandled by PH strategists, including both Raisin’s (Rais H. n Rais Y) of PPBM and Salahs of Amanah/PKR – that i wonder why any Malusian Chieftain bothered to ratify UN sponsored Universal Ideals. Perhaps Octo lost his political Mojo? Yet MCMC, led by stupendous a Bhai, wants to ban the word ‘Apartheid’? Haha..

    It will take at least 3 generations to demystify the Myth of Hang Tuah’ism, Ketuanan Melayu and Tanah Pusaka – by which time the Malays will have replaced the hoards of Indians, Bangladeshis, Indonesians and Filipinos as unskilled labor or maids in their ‘Holy Land’. Meanwhile, their fellow Malaysians of different ethnicity and religious persuasion will be living in Walled Ghettos, wearing armbands with the word ‘Khinzir’ or ‘’ in red.. Forgot to mention: The ghettos have all the luxuries PRC or India can give as these will be the Mandors of “New Malay-sia”. Extractable.

  6. Katasayang wrote:
    “issue of discrimination against a second caste who helped created much of today’s Malaysia”

    It’s true the “second caste” has been discriminated and even continues to be threatened with May 13th – a time when bloody attacks with parangs and senseless killings were rampant throughout the Klang valley. But I suggest the decades-old antagonism – often resulting in lethal attacks by extremists brainwashed by a government that practised malignant neglect – against the Indians had been even more catastrophic. People often mentioned the killings of Chinese and how their shops were burned down during May 13, but few touched on the massacre of Indians as well, as amplfied with pictures of severed Indian heads stuck on wall fence spikes in Sentul. Violence against Indians continued for decades – Kampong Medan was another example. But abhorrent as such events might be, what was worse was the neglect, the marginalisation of a community that had served the country no less than any other ethnic group. Such marginalisation obscured the fact that at one time, Indians were generally recognized as most important contributors to the nation’s professional class, from teachers and civil servants to lawyers and doctors.

    Outside Malaysia, the frequent massacres of Chinese in Indonesia were among the most egregious in history: at least a million perished in Indonesia’s so-called GESTAPU (1965). Still, that number pales into insignificance when compared with the unprovoked, large-scale genocidal wars against Vietnam ( about 5 million and counting, as effects of Agent Orange ensured generations of deformed Vietnamese with shortened life expectancy), and millions more in Laos and Cambodia. We’re leaving out, of course, the carnage in the Phillipines during their early struggles for independence, a period that could never be blotted out in the minds of patriotic Filipinos, including President Duterte. Tally those killed by imperialists from thousands of miles away, and a conservative estimate of about a hundred million – about the population of Russia – isn’t too far-fetched.

  7. Abdul Jalil December 11, 2018 at 5:47 pm
    /// I think this what God wants all the people in power to do. ///

    Wow, you can read god’s??? Impressive!

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