It is obvious that certain parties are using the ICERD to whip up ethno-religious support for their defeated parties. At the same time, the insecurities felt by many among the B40 are all too real and this has to be addressed; otherwise their fears of being left behind are likely to be easily manipulated by unscrupulous politicians.
I wouldn’t say that this is the end of the new Malaysia. It is just that the government will have to be more astute in how it proceeds, plan carefully, raise awareness, eliminate insecurities and then move forward. The new Malaysia is a work in progress, and we all have a hand in it.
Aliran has just released the following statement:
Of late there has been much debate, confusion and acrimony over Malaysia’s stated intention to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms or Racial Discrimination.
Opponents of the convention have argued strongly that ratification by Malaysia may lead to the negation of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution. Article 153 spells out in no uncertain terms the responsibility of the Yang DiPertuan Agong “to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities…”
Meanwhile proponents lobbying for the ratification of the convention have offered reassurances that Article 153 would not be jeopardised nor stand out as a contradiction should the government decide to ratify the convention. Full statement on Aliran website