PAS the biggest winner of the Anti-ICERD rally while UMNO the biggest loser

The biggest winner in Anti-ICERD (Internatioal Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination) rally in Kuala Lumpur yesterday was PAS, which managed to distract public attention from the fact that its President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang had reduced PAS from a national party achieved under the presidency of Fadzil Noor back into a regional political party in the 14th General Election.

The biggest loser of the Anti-ICERD rally was UMNO, as for the first time in 72 years, the UMNO President played a secondary role to that of the PAS President, with the UMNO President wooing PAS for an union while PAS played coy in the courtship.

Hadi’s ambition for PAS has increased exponentially before and after the 14th General Election.

Before the 14GE, Hadi wanted PAS to play the role of “king-maker” by winning 40 parliamentary seats, which would enable him to prop up Datuk Seri Najib Razak to continue as Prime Minister of Malaysia, heedless of Najib’s role in hurtling Malaysia in the trajectory of a rogue democracy, a kakistocracy, a failed state and a global kleptocracy.

Now, Hadi could not be satsified to be a “kingmaker” for UMNO to continue to rule Malaysia, as he would himself want to be Prime Minister in a political scenario where UMNO needs PAS more than PAS needs UMNO!

Hadi has said that all Muslims must oppose the ratification of CERD, alleging ICERD is a “Freemason agenda” with the intention to destroy the religion, nation and society.

But there was not a word of this “Freemason agenda” and interntional conspiracy against Islam in the speeches at the Anti-ICERD rally yesterday.

The Anti-ICERD rally yesterdy should have launched an international campaign to save Muslims in the world from the Freemason conspiracy, as 99 per cent of the 1.9 billion Muslims in the world are living in 179 countries which have ratified ICERD, including 55 of the 57 member nations of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), such as Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkey, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Algeria, Morocco, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Is Malaysia to be the saviour of Muslims in the world, including Muslims in the Islamic heartlands centred in Saudi Arabia, or has Malaysia become the laughing-stock of the world, including the Islamic World- except for Brunei, the other Muslim country which has not ratified the ICERD?

I believe that that overwhelming majority of Malaysians from all over the country who attended the Anti-ICERD rally did not realise that ICERD is not anti-Malay, anti-Islam or anti-Malay rulers as 36 of 38 countries with monarchical systems have ratified ICERD for the past half a century.

If Malaysia is to become a world top-class nation, there must be no room for the toxic politics of lies, hate, fear, race and religion.

Let us learn from the United Arab Emirates, which introduced a National Tolerance Programme in 2016, together with the appointment of a Minister of State for Tolerance, which underlined the UAE's commitment to eradicate ideological, cultural and religious bigotry in the society.

Under the UAE National Tolerance Programme, there is an anti-hate speech law which criminalises any acts that stoke religious hatred or that might insult religion through any form of expression, be it speech or the written word, books, pamphlets or in online media platforms.

As a practical application of the principle of tolerance, the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ordered renaming the Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Mosque in Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, to 'Mariam, Umm Eisa’ — Arabic for ‘Mary, the mother of Jesus’.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri