Amid the backlash against him for his stance on ratifying the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd), P Waythamoorthy has said that there is no need for online campaigns in support of him.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, the minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of national unity and social wellbeing reiterated that he is committed to protecting the Federal Constitution and the rule of law in the country.
"I wish to thank Malaysians from all walks of life, of all origins, irrespective of race and religion, for the support shown towards me over the last few days over the Icerd issue.
"However, I wish to state that the need does not arise to warrant an online petition for me to remain in office, as minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of national unity and social wellbeing.
"I also do not wish for a personal online campaign to safeguard the ministerial position bestowed on me by our Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad," he wrote, adding that he was confident that Malaysians would continue to support the Pakatan Harapan government, amid all the brouhaha.
"I am committed to protecting the Federal Constitution and the rule of law of this blessed nation. Thank you," Waythamoorthy wrote.
His remark follows the launch of an online petition calling for Waythamoorthy to retain his ministerial position, which has thus far collected over 17,000 signatures.
This petition was launched to counter another one launched earlier this week, which calls for his resignation over the Icerd issue. The petition against the minister has reportedly amassed more than 100,000 signatures so far.
Waythamoorthy had come under fire from opposition members, as well as NGOs, after announcing that the government intended to begin consultations on ratifying Icerd in the first quarter of 2019.
Critics argue that ratifying the UN instrument would contravene Article 153 of the Federal Constitution which stipulates that special privileges are to be accorded to the bumiputera.