Minister: Govt to ratify convention on racial discrimination, five other treaties in Q1 2019

The New Economic Policy will finally end after almost 50 years

(Bernama) – The government is committed to ratifying six treaties including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in the first quarter of next year, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, P. Waytha Moorthy.

“I want to state that the ratification of conventions including ICERD is in line with Pakatan Harapan (PH)’s manifesto.

“The commitment is not only by me but also by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Religious Affairs Datuk Mujahid Rawa. It is further strengthened with the statements of Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the United Nations General Assembly recently,” he said in a statement to Bernama.

He was speaking at the closing of the 8th National Conference organised by the Community Communication Centre (Komas) on “Malaysia Towards the Ratification of ICERD” in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

Apart from ICERD, Malaysia has yet to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Also to be ratified is the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families as well as the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

Waytha Moorthy said even though several matters maybe become obstacles in the ratification of ICERD, the government believed the international convention could be signed with exemptions.

This is proven with Malaysia’s recognition in signing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), he said.

“We need to remember that the ratification of ICERD may require the government to modify several existing legislations and policies.

“As the minister responsible for the National Unity and Social Wellbeing, I will hold dialogues with the main stakeholders on the ratification of ICERD,” he said.