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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — The government will take into account the views and stand of all parties, in addition to conducting public engagements with government and opposition leaders in regard to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy said whatever decision was taken on ICERD, the government guaranteed that Article 153 of the Federal Constitution would not be amended or repealed.
“I have explained the government’s stand in relation to ICERD last Thursday and when winding up the 2019 Budget debate on Monday. I wish to state again that the government assures that Article 153 of the Federal Constitution would not be amended or repealed.
“And if the ICERD needs to be ratified, then the stand, opinions and suggestions of all parties will be taken into account. We will hold public engagements with all government-elected representatives and from the Opposition, all together, then only will we take appropriate action (on ICERD),” he said when winding up debate on the 2019 Budget at the committee stage for the Prime Minister’s Department.
In contrast to his winding up on Monday that saw him being attacked by MPs especially from the Opposition bloc on the issue of ICERD, this time Waytha Moorthy’s winding-up session proceeded in a calm manner.
Several Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS MPs who rose to interrupt also did not mention ICERD but instead asked the minister to pay attention to issues facing the Indian community in their respective areas.
Article 153 refers to the special position of Islam as the religion of the federation, the institution of the Malays rulers and bumiputera privileges.
Meanwhile, when met at the Parliament lobby, Waytha Moorthy said he was ready to assist investigations into a video clip going viral on social media, in which he had allegedly made disparaging remarks about the country, as if Malaysia was facing serious human rights violations.
“Yes, yes I’m willing to cooperate,” he said briefly when asked by reporters about the matter.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim, in a press conference today said police would summon Waytha Moorthy soon to record his statement on claims he badmouthed Malaysia abroad. — Bernama