The Pakatan Harapan government will not breach any articles of the Federal Constitution in the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd).
Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin said the government was in no hurry to ratify Icerd, as the matter had to be thoroughly scrutinised so as not to violate Article 153, the constitutional monarchy system, the status of Islam and all the special rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
“Malaysia is a country of multiple races, religions and cultures, and the Malaysian way of life is different from other countries.
"What matters most to us is to maintain the good ties, as well as peace and harmony among all the races in the country,” he told a press conference after visiting the Pagoh Higher Education Hub (PHTP) today.
Also present was Education Minister Maszlee Malik and Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian.
The development of HPTP on a 400ha site was implemented in phases since 2012. It now houses four campuses of public varsities, namely Universiti Tun Hussien Onn, International Islamic University Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Tun Syed Nasir Syed Ismail Polytechnic.
Muhyiddin said Bersatu had also received many inputs from its members who shared their concerns that Icerd ratification would bring about a negative impact on the country.
“From the information that we received, the majority of members disagreed (with ratification),” he said.
Prior to this, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was reported as saying that Malaysia would only ratify Icerd after negotiations with all ethnic groups, and that it was not an easy matter because Malaysia is a country of multiple races which have their own particular interests.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin, who is also home minister, said at least one bill to amend or abolish a law under the purview of his ministry would be tabled in Parliament before the end of this year.
He said the laws include the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, Prevention of Crime Act 1959, Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, Sedition Act 1948 and those involving the death penalty.
“A committee has been set up to carry out a review on all those acts to determine what should be amended or abolished,” he added.
Malaysia is one of only two Muslim-majority countries in the world that have not ratified ICERD.