LETTER | Over the last two weeks, the issue of Icerd had received significant prominence. What appears to be an issue that requires proper legal and intellectual discourse has been hijacked by politicians, leading to the loss of the objectivity of the original issue.
The politicians' propaganda was misleading and had stirred up unnecessary emotions. The facts have been blurred, and the reality is politicians have only one agenda: to create unrest and seize power using race and religious issues.
The facts on Icerd are very clear and are available on the world-wide-web and yet many chose not to read it themselves but rely on the propaganda made by political leaders.
The facts show that Malaysia is one of the 14 countries world-wide alongside North Korea, Myanmar and Sudan that did not ratify Icerd. It makes us looks bad to be in the same boat as such countries.
The facts also show that 55 out of 57 Muslim countries agreed to ratify Icerd. Is Islam in Malaysia different from Islam practised worldwide? Why is it that the 55 countries chose to ratify it? Only two Muslim countries chose not to - Malaysia and Brunei. There are 36 countries with constitutional monarchy system that have signed it.
The allegation that Icerd contradicts our Federal Constitution and affects Islam and bumiputera need to be evaluated clinically with proper studies and not on the basis of emotions.
Icerd has provisions within its Article 1(4). Article 153 of the Federal Constitution is ingrained in the formation of Malaysia. Something that is ingrained in the constitution cannot be touched. We accept that. It is no different from the American Constitution. Some things cannot be changed.
Quite clearly, the legal process to change it is a long-drawn one that involves parliament. The reality is Article 1(4) of Icerd is no different from Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
While I can accept the differences in views on whether Icerd ratification will have an impact on Article 153, I cannot accept the way this issue is being handled. Using race and religion shows the weakness of us Malays of which I am not proud of.
I believe many like-minded Malays like me can argue this case professionally in the right forum and decide whether it has an impact on Article 153. I don't need politicians who claim that as Muslims we are for discriminatory policies against people of other religions and races.
There is a big difference in being discriminatory and giving certain handicap to a segment of the society to allow it to catch up or having a law that protect the interest of Malays and Islam. Protecting the interest of Malays and Islam is definitely not the same as creating discriminatory policies against other ethnic groups in Malaysia.
The country is at its critical juncture. I think as responsible Malaysians, if we cannot help the government to improve the nation's financial position and create jobs for the people, we should at least try not to make it worst.
Politicians like Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Hadi Awang are hypocrites. They have no issue with keeping silent on corruption. Does Islam allow corruption and stealing? It is because of this (corruption and stealing) that Umno was rejected at the recent general election.
Had Umno been open to internal check and balance and be transparent on matters, BN would still be ruling the country. Had Hadi been clear and follow the true teachings of Islam and not play politics, PAS would have been part of the government today.
Hadi is entirely to be blamed for missing out one of the biggest opportunities for PAS to showcase its capabilities. Now both PAS and Umno continue to play up on race and religion to ensure their survival and the public is too blind to see it. I am ashamed to be a Malay Muslim Malaysian.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.
Malaysia is one of only two Muslim-majority countries in the world that have not ratified ICERD.