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COMMENT | Why minorities did an eye-roll over Umno PM's 'apartheid' remark

COMMENT | The systematic oppression of Palestinians over many years through discriminatory policies, denial of basic civil rights, imposition of harsh conditions, large scale land confiscation and inhumane acts committed against them is tantamount to the crime of apartheid, said Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob in a video speech to the United Nations General Assembly yesterday.

Syabas! An admirable position was taken up by the Umno man – but you know what else is tantamount to the crime of apartheid? – dividing Malaysians by race, depriving Orang Asli of their hereditary lands, sitting idly by as one Indian after another suffers a mysterious death in police lockups and leaving Sabah and Sarawak decades behind in development despite their lands being resource-rich.

It is absolutely shameful that every single premier of the country thus far has belonged to a Malay-rights party and not an ideological one like a conservative, liberal or social-democratic party – what does it say about the insecurity of a voter base that is so comfortable with electing ethnic champions?

To be fair, Ismail’s speech was spot on – he said that Malaysia has always been a firm believer in all efforts and initiatives that promote peaceful coexistence between nations, different peoples, faiths and cultures.

Perhaps in his righteous indignation over the suffering of the Palestinians, the Bera MP has forgotten about the strife that followed in 2018 when the Pakatan Harapan government proposed that Malaysia sign the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd).

Malaysia is one of only two Muslim-majority countries in the world that has not...

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