SUPP supports the ratification of ICERD and challenges DAP to make a stand

Adam Yii

The new administration under Pakatan Harapan was meant to be a fresh start for the country. This would mean looking at the fundamental structure of the country. It was heartening to see the new government willingness to tackle some “sacred cows” issues, one of which is on race by proposing to rectify ICERD, said Pujut SUPP Chairman, Adam Yii.

In the PH’s Buku Harapan, also known as its Manifesto, that holds out the vision for Malaysia to once again be an independent and respected nation – a country founded upon the principles of liberty and justice. It hopes to put Malaysia back to a stage we are once again the envy of the world. It also highlighted the ills of UMNO that created the situation where “Malaysians are threatened with narrow racist rhetoric such that we begin to distrust each other.” One of the 5 Pillars of its Manifesto promises to “create a Malaysia that is inclusive, moderate and respected globally”, he said.

The PH Government commitment, added Yii was  to reform as espoused in its manifestos is now being put on the line for the convenience of the day to day politics of race. There are very few countries left in the world that do not agree with United Nations noble aim as laid out in ICERD in 1965. Only two other countries in Asia have not ratified, namely, Myanmar and North Korea. Myanmar’s handling of its minority Rohingyas was the obvious reason for the non-ratification.

He expressed his sadness at  the back paddling by the PH government recently on this issue of ratification of ICERD. The biggest disappointment was the statement by Lim Guan Eng on behalf of DAP saying that it has no stand on this issue and would defer to Tun Dr Mahathir. DAP has for more than half a century ostensibly stood and fought for a fair, just and a secular society while they were in the  opposition. And now DAP has revealed its true face and happily sacrificed its founding principles and chose to be silent for the benefit of being in the government with several ministerial portfolios. It has openly chosen to be the “Yes” man in the coalition. Where are all the brave voices and heroes in DAP now?

Tun Dr Mahathir has just said it is impossible to ratify the ICERD while at Papua New Guinea during the APEC Conference. DAP is now deemed to support the stand just taken by Tun Dr Mahathir.

“SUPP stand is to support the ratification of ICERD. This is the norm and is of universal human values. While there are views that said ICERD conflicts with Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, SUPP is of the view that ICERD can reconcile with Article 153 of the Constitution.We have to look at and discuss this issue rationally. A good starting point is to look into the history for this article. Article 153 was not designed to discriminate by enshrining certain rights for one race. It was designed to rectify the perceived weakness of the Malay community in the economic field and the public service. This was expanded to the bumiputras in Sarawak and Sabah after 1963. The affirmative action nature of Article 153 was meant to be transition in nature. The Reid Commission (equivalent to the Cobbold Commission in Sarawak) recommended a 15- year sunset clause for Article 153. This was later further extended for another 20-year period after the introduction of the national Economic Policy (NEP) in 1990,” he stated.

SUPP calls for the present PH Government to honour its promises and to live up to its aspirations and vision as laid out in its Manifesto. SUPP challenges DAP to make a clear and unequivocal stand on the ratification of ICERD, and should not hide behind Tun Dr Mahathir and be the “Yes” man of PH. SUPP further call all political parties, including DAP, to unite and to support the ratification of ICERD for a fair, just and better Malaysia.

Adam Yii

Adam Yii