KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 -— The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) today again advocated for Malaysia’s accession to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail highlighted a few public incidents of racial discrimination in education and property rental, which he said could have been avoided if the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government had signed the United Nations treaty that was shelved due to opposition from Malay conservatives.
“Suhakam continues to advocate for Malaysia’s accession to ICERD to ensure that Malaysia reaffirms its commitment to the protection of the rights and dignity of all Malaysians,” Razali said in a statement today on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
“In the era of Malaysia Baharu, it is time for Malaysia to move away from race-based politics and norms, and to begin drafting laws and policies aimed at combating racial discrimination to promote unity and harmony, as everyone, regardless of their race, should be able to live freely and without the shadow of discrimination,” he added.
A few recent incidents of racial discrimination had triggered public uproar, such as a scholarship advertisement by a private hospital that listed ethnic preferences, as well as reports of ethnic discrimination against potential property tenants.