Kota Kinabalu: Sabah has what it takes to inspire the Malaysian Government to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
The State is already a shining example of racial and religious harmony in the country but human rights bodies believe that the State Government can take it one step further by implementing the principles of non-discrimination in the administration of the State.
A close-door roundtable discussion, jointly organised by Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (Komas) and Suhakam, was held on Thursday, which aimed to engage stakeholders in the State Government to promote the implementation of the ICERD principles.
Organisers hoped the engagement could be treated as a commitment by the State Government to present itself a model government in eradicating race-based politics and reduce racial discrimination in Malaysia.
Malaysia is one of 15 out of 175 United Nations member countries that are not yet party to the ICERD, including North Korea, Myanmar and a dozen authoritarian countries.
Of the seven UN treaties, Malaysia has ratified three, namely the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (CRPD).
Suhakam, however, believes that the country is ready to ratify the ICERD, although it has had to deal with many issues concerning racial and religious discriminations. Read more