KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 – Umno today reminded the DAP that a change in government did not mean the people agreed to the party’s ideology of equality after two of its assemblymen urged DAP to support the ratification of a United Nations rights treaty.
Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan also said any attempts to alter Malaysia’s image and character was dangerous in a pluralistic and multiracial country like Malaysia.
“DAP and Pakatan Harapan (PH) do not have the mandate to do as they like even though they won the last general election,” the former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar said in a statement.
Mohamad, or Tok Mat, was responding to calls by Tras assemblyman Chow Yu Hui and Tanah Rata representative Chiong Yoke Kong for the party to back the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
Chow and Chiong said the ICERD was in line with the party’s “1967 Setapak Declaration” and would realise its “Malaysian Malaysia” aspiration.
The duo said according to the Setapak Declaration, Malaysians should not be separated by labels such as “Bumiputera” and “non-Bumiputera”.
But Mohamad said the DAP assemblymen should understand the “Bumiputera” and “non-Bumiputera” concept was agreed upon by those who drafted the Federal Constitution after taking into account the country’s social fabric.
“It is not a policy that is meant to discriminate against any race, but one to prevent polarisation and reduce the gap among the different races.”
He went on to caution that any attempts to get rid of the “Bumiputera” and “non-Bumiputera” label could lead to racial strife.
“It is naive and irresponsible of the DAP to assume that all Bumiputeras would be able to compete on a level playing field.
“And even if they could, the Malays and Bumiputeras would not give up their special rights which is enshrined in the Federal Constitution.”
The debate over ICERD recently intensified with some groups claiming that the special rights of the Bumiputeras, as well as the positions of the Malay language and Islam, would be undermined if Malaysia ratifies the treaty.
Several rallies had been organised to object to the UN rights treaty.
Last week, the Malaysian delegation at the third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland, reaffirmed the government’s decision to ratify all remaining UN rights treaties, including the ICERD.
Foreign ministry secretary-general Ramlan Ibrahim said Putrajaya is considering ratifying the treaties following consultations with stakeholders.