Kuala Lumpur, 13 April– Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Dato Saifuddin Abdullah today set straight allegations by Former Transport Minister Anthony Loke for claiming that the controversial proposal for the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) was Saifuddin’s idea.
In a Facebook and Twitter response, Dato Saifuddin reiterated that the International Conventions on Human Rights was contained originally within the Pakatan Harapan Manifesto as well as being stated by Tun Dr. Mahathir in his speech at the United Nations in 2018.
“I was not the minister on ICERD. On the Rome Statute, decisions to both ratify and later to not ratify were made in the Cabinet, and I was the minister responsible” clarified Dato Saifuddin Abdullah.
Anthony Loke conceded that the agenda was in fact in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto or Buku Harapan. However, he further claimed, without adducing any evidence, that the proposed idea was championed by Saifuddin, who was the then foreign minister, claiming that the issues were not brought up to the cabinet to be discussed.
Further checks by NMT indicate that ICERD was not specifically mentioned in the Buku Harapan. However, the signing of the human rights convention was. ICERD was initiated in late 2018 by Waytha Moorthy, the former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of National Unity and Social Wellbeing.
Loke was responding to Majlis Professor Negara’s fellow Muhammad Asri Mohd Ali’s question on whether Dr. Mahathir supported the ratification of ICERD and Rome Statute and whether they were on DAP’s agenda in the PH government.