THE Pusat KOMAS, IRF, PROJEK DIALOG AND CERD WORKING GROUP DECLARATION ON NATIONAL SOLIDARITY: “SAY NO TO RACISM!"
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KOMAS, IRF and PROJEK DIALOG together with other civil society organizations have initiated a campaign to advocate the Malaysian government to ratify the INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (ICERD)
The ICERD is a United Nation (UN) convention which commits its states to the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of equality and unity among all races. This convention defines racial discrimination and requires the states to create mechanisms to minimize racial discrimination that may involve the change of national laws and policies which promote racial discrimination and states are called to condemn any group or organization that is perpetuating racial discrimination. This is more embarrasing as Malaysia sits in the Human Rights Council and is not able to be among the majority of nations complying with ICERD. To date, 175 countries have ratified the convention and yet Malaysia has not made any move to ratify the Convention. Malaysia is among the 16 countries who have not ratified the convention along with countries like Myanmar, North Korea and Angola. Malaysia has only ratified 3 international conventions so far which is the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). We seriously urge the Malaysian government to start the process to ratify all other conventions to prove its seriousness in promoting Human Rights. It is time that Malaysia seriously upholds human rights in Malaysia. This we believe is the best step forward for our beautiful multicultural society, to exist and flourish
We therefore declare the following to the Malaysian government:
Recognizing that Malaysia is a nation with a rich history of multiethnic, multireligious and multicultural harmony and coexistence, we are:
alarmed at the rise of communal and racist sentiments in Malaysian politics,
troubled at the rate of positive attention given to racist perspectives by the news media,
distressed at the emergence of exclusive ethnocentric ultra-nationalist organizations masquerading as patriots,
disturbed at the abuse of religion to legitimize racist and anti-democratic politics,
dismayed at the continuous persecution of religious minorities,
saddened by the continued absence of an inclusive conception of Malaysian identity,
concerned about the lack of sustained attempts to foster real and meaningful conversations about diversity across Malaysians of varying cultures, religions and beliefs,
And acknowledging that despite the real differences that may stand between Malaysia's many cultures, the values of peace, tolerance, understanding, appreciation and recognition of each other's way of life is a necessary first step to attain the larger goal of making Malaysia a truly flourishing democracy.
Therefore, we, the undersigned, demand an end to racism in Malaysia via the following:
1. End racist politics.
2. End the political and racial exploitation of Malaysian news media to promote racist agendas. The promotion of racism contradicts media freedom.
3. End the abuse of religion to legitimize racism.
4. End the persecutions of religious minorities.
5. Release all detainees held unjustly under draconian measures that are put in place on the false basis of national security and inter-communal peace.
6. Dialogue towards envisioning a peaceful and more inclusive Malaysia for all.
7. Last but not least we call for the Malaysian government to ratify ICERD (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) immidiately to show their seriousness in combating racism and building a more inclusive Malaysia.
All human beings are bound together by a common humanity. We thus call upon all groups, non-governmental organizations, student organizations, political parties and individuals who envision an inclusive Malaysia to endorse this message of solidarity.
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