Protect your rights against ICERD or lose your rights, warns Shahrir

(FMT) – Umno leader Shahrir Samad today called on Umno members to rise and protect their rights by protesting against a controversial UN human rights treaty despite Putrajaya promising not to ratify the treaty.

He reminded Malays that the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) is a continuation of secularism, which is not based on Islam.

A treaty, he said, must be based on religion, language and the sultans.

“Our fight does not end with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s announcement.

“The women and youth wings must speak on this issue at stalls, mosques and surau,” he told thousands of Umno members who attended at a forum on ICERD at PWTC.

He said Malays must remember that the treaty could cause youths to leave their religion as ICERD calls for equality.

The former Johor Bahru MP said now that Umno is close to PAS, they should discuss the issue too.

He said Malaysia should be like Indonesia where the government has no power over religion. “It is based on people’s power.”

He added Malays were in danger of losing their Malay identity. He spoke on the role of sultans as the heads of Islam in the country.

“We follow the religion of our sultan. We follow the Shafii thought of school because our sultans are Shafii.

“Outsiders say we do not have freedom. But too much freedom will cause fights. Egypt is a republic with the majority of people being Islam but with different schools of thought,” he said.

Shahrir said in Malaysia, Umno has used its strength in politics to bring development to the country and the party has in the past helped Malays to succeed through the New Economic Policy.

‘Freedom to convert’

Another Umno member, Tunku Alizan Raja Muhammad Alias (pic above), who spoke at the forum, said the treaty allowed Muslims to marry anyone without needing their non-Muslim partner to convert.

“Malays and Islam are one. If we ratify the UN treaty, Malays do not have to be Muslims. Should we allow Malays to marry others without converting?” he asked to a loud “no” from the floor.

“If the government allows this, Malays will be allowed to be Christians, Hindus and Buddhists. These are things not mentioned to us.”

Tunku Alizan said although Minister in Prime Minister’s Department P Waytha Moorthy had said that ICERD can be ratified with reservations, “he forgot to state that these reservations are not permanent and there is a deadline”.

He further said the government would have to ratify ICERD in two to five years and added that “they are not giving us the whole story. This ICERD will sideline Malay rights”.