United by common enemy ICERD, Umno to share stage with PAS in Perak

Danial Dzulkifly
Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (right) and deputy Datuk Seri Mohammad Hasan are seen during a press conference at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur November 9, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Umno will be joining rivals-turned-ally PAS in a protest against the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in Pasir Salak, Perak this November 17, it said.

The Malay nationalist party said it will be at the forefront of all anti-ICERD campaigns, together with other NGOs that oppose the core human rights convention.

“Umno asks the government to stop any efforts that will jeopardise the formulation of the society today which have been built through mutual understanding because the ratification of ICERD as it goes against our Constitution,” he told the press after chairing the Umno supreme council at Menara Dato Onn here.

Umno and PAS’ Youth wings had previously held a protest against ICERD together in the capital of Kuala Lumpur.

Zahid did not elaborate on the issue of Constitution, but it is believed he was referring to the special quotas for Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak under Article 153.

However, the Malaysian Bar has explained today that Putrajaya will not violate the Federal Constitution by ratifying ICERD, despite warnings by Malay-Muslim groups.

It said Article 1(4) of ICERD provides that “special measures”, including affirmative action, are permissible, and this is reinforced in Article 2(2) of the convention.

Yesterday at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Malaysia’s human rights record in Geneva, Switzerland, Putrajaya affirmed its intentions to accede to international human rights treaties, including the ICERD.

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