Consumerist: In Support Of NGOs Concerned – Pak Jib Urged To Take Lead To Ratify ICERD!

Dato Jacob George


Consumerist: In Support Of NGOs Concerned – Pak Jib Urged To Take Lead To Ratify ICERD!

I am overjoyed at reading that a number of non-governmental organizations in Malaysia have called in to end racial discrimination and for the nation whose 56 independence just months away endorse a United Nations treaty on this.

Endorsing the United Nations convention known as the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) is the right step to address spiralling levels of racism in Malaysia.

If I am not wrong I believe over 175 countries have ratified this convention that is effective since 1969!

Those who ratify this document need to minimize racial discrimination through statutes enacted and government policies!

It is also important and expected that the government also condemn groups and organizations that continue to discriminate on the basis of race!

I must laud Pusat Komas, Islamic Renaissance Front and Projek Dialog for their proactive work and initiation in pushing for the ICERD because of seven major concerns.

“Recognizing that Malaysia is a nation with a rich history of multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural harmony and coexistence, we are:

• alarmed at the rise of communal and racist sentiments in Malaysian politics;
• troubled at the rate of positive attention given to racist perspectives by the news media;
• distressed at the emergence of exclusive ethnocentric ultra-nationalist organizations masquerading as patriots;
• disturbed at the abuse of religion to legitimize racist and anti-democratic politics;
• dismayed at the continuous persecution of religious minorities;
• saddened by the continued absence of an inclusive conception of Malaysian identity; and
• concerned about the lack of sustained attempts to foster real and meaningful conversations about diversity across Malaysians of varying cultures, religions and beliefs,” the NGOs said in an online petition

Our politicians have made global statements on racism, inequalities, terrorism, accountability, governance, balance and the need for moderation but these have yet to be translated and entrenched as policy initiates!

We know we do not live in a just world but at least we can try rather than be plain, unadulterated hypocrites and rascals!

For the record, the last time I checked with friends at the UN – Malaysia remains among the 16 or so countries that have neither signed or ratified the ICERD!

Pak Jib – perhaps, as part of your transformation initiatives and your legacy why not take the lead on this?