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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — The rally against the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) here on December 8 will still go on but as a celebratory gathering after the government decided against ratifying the United Nations’ document today.
Welcoming the announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office, PAS mouthpiece Harakah said on its website that the rally has been rebranded as ‘himpunan kejayaan dan kesyukuran rakyat menolak ICERD (assembly of the rakyat’s victory and gratitude in rejecting ICERD).
PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man was reported as saying the rally, which is jointly organised with Umno, at Dataran Merdeka will now consist of prayers and speeches.
Nonetheless, PAS Central Working Committee member Azman Ibrahim, in the Harakah report, urged Putrajaya to make a firm stand on ICERD after Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said ratifying the convention was almost impossible as Pakatan Harapan (PH) did not have the two-thirds majority in Parliament.
He questioned if PH would amend the Federal Constitution to allow the ratification of the United Nations convention if it had the two-thirds majority in Parliament as that remains a concern of the people.
Dr Mahathir had said after attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2018 meeting in Port Moresby on Sunday, that ratifying ICERD would entail amending the Federal Constitution and this was near impossible.
“Only with the support from the Opposition can we have a two-thirds majority, and even then government members themselves may not support (it). So I feel that it’s almost impossible for us to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary (to amend the constitution),” he said in a Bernama report
The Prime Minister’s Office announced today that the government will not ratify ICERD, following protest by various groups.
“The government will continue to defend the Federal Constitution that contains the social contract that has been agreed upon by representatives from all races during the formation of this country,” it said in a statement.