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(File pix) “This is not a small blunder,” said the Rembau MP NSTP/ Mohamad Shahril Badri Saali

KUALA LUMPUR: Khairy Jamaluddin has demanded for Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah’s resignation as Foreign Minister for the latter’s alleged “blunder” over the planned ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

Khairy, who is former Umno Youth chief, said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chief secretary has to take responsibility for having jumped the gun in committing to the ratification.

“The foreign minister has to assume responsibility for having committed to implementing something that would never have gotten the support of the public. He didn’t think this through.

“The Minister for Foreign Affairs should take responsibility and resign. This is not a small blunder. The commitment was made in the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) United Nations General Assembly address. Not some kampung ceramah,” Khairy tweeted on Friday.

Khairy, who is the Rembau member of parliament, also engaged commenters on the issue. To a question on which party was responsible for the situation, he replied that it was not down to any party.

“No party is responsible for anything. This Malay backlash is real. Not manufactured. No matter how hard you tell yourself it is,” he said.

He also noted that it was best not to ratify the ICERD given the heated political climate.

“This is the time to cool down the country’s political temperature. It’s best that it (ICERD) isn’t continued further,” he said.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin said the move to not ratify ICERD was a wise one.

He said the PH government is committed to upholding and respecting human rights, which includes welcoming open discussions.

“PH gives an opportunity to the people to discuss complex matters such as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues and now, ICERD.

This was never discussed in the past but now we can,” he told a press conference after officiating the Foreign Ministry’s Integrity Day 2018.

He said the ICERD issue involves many differing voices.

“Some say they want to uphold human rights, some want to discuss human rights by using the Malay supremacy approach.

“Some believe in scare tactics, while others question Article 153 (of the Federal Constitution), which we would not have amended.

“There comes a point when people become allergic to ICERD; to the extent that they won’t even try to listen when we try to talk about Article 153. So I think that the Cabinet was wise to not ratify ICERD,” he said.

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