KUALA LUMPUR: Any law that follows Malaysia’s ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) will still need to go through the parliamentary process before taking effect.
As a result the international treaty would not necessarily affect the special rights and privileges of the Bumiputera community in Malaysia.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said this in a statement at Parliament lobby here today.
He was responding to claims that the rights of the community which was enshrined in the Federal Constitution, would be be eroded should Malaysia ratify the treaty.
“There are rumours that signing the treaty is taking away these rights. This is slander that can instigate hatred and even cause racial tension.
“I feel compelled to explain that the ratification involving international treaties on human rights will not affect us in terms of the law and what is enshrined in the constitution, including that of the special rights of the Malays,” he said.
“This means that even if we sign the ICERD treaty, it will not change anything, except for the related laws that will be tabled and debated in Parliament,”
Umno Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, among others, had called on Malaysians to object the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s efforts to ratify the ICERD treaty as it was against Article 153 of the constitution which guarantees special position of Malays.
Mujahid however urged those who disagree with the government’s move to meet him personally as he could explain the matter to them.
“I hope they are not too quick to make assumptions. It’s not good for the country. Meet me, and I will provide an explanation,,” he said.
The Pakatan Harapan government recently announced its plans to ratify ICERD alongside with five other UN treaties in the first quarter of next year.