More questions about Hadi and PAS MPs’ position on ICERD

Yesterday, I asked the PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang what he really meant when he said that all Muslims must oppose the ratification of the International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) when the Covenant had been ratified by countries representing 99% of the 1.9 billion Muslims in the world, including countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, UAB, Algeria, Pakistan, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

While we wait for answer from the PAS President, Hadi can also explain why 55 of the 57 countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) States have ratified ICERD, except for Malaysia and Brunei. Is there a suggestion that somehow the 99% the world’s 1.9 billion Muslims, who live in 55 of the 57 OIC countries, have been misled and not as Muslim as Hadi would want them to be?

If ratification of ICERD means condemnation of the Muslims to a life of injustice and oppression, can Hadi expain why 48 of 50 countries where Muslims make up a majority of the population have ratified ICERD?

UMNO and PAS MPs have continued to make a ruckus over ICERD in Parliament, going to the extent of creating the darkest day in the 50-year history of the Malaysian Parliament on Monday, when they defied and disregarded the Speaker’s directives and shouted and yelled incessantly to stop the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, P. Waytha Moorthy from replying and delivering his speech during the Ministerial winding-up in the debate on the 2019 Budget – the first time in half-a-century history of Malaysian Parliament.

I want to remind miscreant UMNO and PAS MPs of what Voltaire said: “I disapprove of what you way, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!”

If we do not accept this Voltarian spirit, then the blot in Parliament on Monday will degenerate to fist-fights and physical attacks on the Speaker, as happened in other Parliaments!

Is this what Malaysians want?

What has intrigued thinking Malaysians is why UMNO and PAS MPs teamed up to harass Waytha over his video which made scathing criticism against the Barisan Nasional government recorded over 10 years ago.

Waytha said his activism ten years ago was widely known globally, and BN and Umno had even approached him in 2013 to address the issues of the ethnic Indian community.

Waytha said the Umno government and the entire Malaysian community were fully aware of what he did during his five years of exile in the United Kingdom, and yet they made him a deputy minister in 2013.

Waytha was appointed deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department after BN won the 2013 general election. He later resigned the next year.

After he was appointed deputy minister, neither the UMNO MPs (some of whom were Cabinet Ministers at the time) and PAS Members of Parliament including Hadi made an issue of the video which Waytha made ten years ago.

Can the UMNO and PAS MPs explain such political hypocrisy?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri