December 9, 2018
Anti-ICERD rally a win for New Malaysia but a setback for Harapan’
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.
The ICERD Outrage
Malaysia is one of only two Muslim-majority countries in the world that have not ratified ICERD.