Co-President Gan Ping Sieu on ICERD
Saturday, November 10, 2018
The ratification of the International Convention Eliminating Racial Discrimination (ICERD) is not necessarily in conflict with the Federal Constitution. Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and other similar affirmative policies is part of a needs-based nation-building strategy which must be viewed from the proper historical context.

All over the world, affirmative action is carried out based on needs, rather than mere race or creed. Countries like the United States, China, Finland and the UK practice some form of affirmative programmes. These policies sought to achieve goals such as bridging inequalities in employment and pay, increasing access to education, promoting diversity, and redressing apparent past wrongs, harms, or hindrances.

Malaysia, as a modern progressive nation should not be mired in obsolete nation-building narratives that is divisive and obstructs nation building. No nation should be be proud of racial discrimination nor justify its divisive implementation. 

Such discrimination contravenes universal values and the fundamental tenets of major civilizations, including Islamic principles. They also go against the ideals of moderation and good governance which CENBET advocates. 

In fact, the results of the last general election has shown that the majority of the people reject divisive leaders who fan racial-religious hatred. It is time we free ourselves from such shackles. It is the abuse of Article 153 and the NEP (including its successive policies) that should be addressed. 

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