Will Saifuddin Abdullah come clean in Parliament during the winding-up tomorrow to admit that the 2018 ICERD fiasco was solely his own making when he was Foreign Minister in Pakatan Harapan Government and that DAP knew nothing about the proposed ICERD ratification although DAP was the target of demonization for being anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Royalty?

Saifuddin Abdulah will reply in the 2021 Ministerial winding-up tomorrow in Parliament as Minister for Communications and Multimedia.

Will he come clean tomorrow to admit that the 2018 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) fiasco was solely his own making when he was Foreign Minister in Pakatan Harapan Government and that DAP knew nothing about the proposed ICERD ratification although DAP was the target of demonization for being anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Royalty?

I was in China on a visit when the ICERD fiasco first blew up at the end of 2018.

On 19th November, the then Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said that the ratification of ICERD would entail an amendment to the Federal Constitution which was “an impossible thing to do” without two-thirds parliamentary majority.

On 24th November 2018, in a speech at the Malaysian Association of Jiansu Annual Gala Dinner in Souchou, China, I said that no Malaysian would want Malaysia to ratify ICERD at the price of another May 13 racial riots in the country as there was no doubt that there were irresponsible elements who were seeking to incite and escalate racial and religious distrust, animosity and hatred to engender the conditions to replicate another May 13 racial riots in Malaysia.

In my speech, I said:

“Is ICERD against the Malaysian Constitution, anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Malay Rulers?

“There is no need to incite and escalate racial and religious doubts, animosity and hatred to create another May 13 racial riots, for I have no doubt that if ICERD is indeed anti-Malaysian Constitution, anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Malay Sultans, the overwhelming majority of Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, would not want Malaysia to ratify ICERD.

“I am still waiting for answer as whether 99 per cent of the 1.9 billion Muslims in the world, who live in countries which have ratified ICERD, are not genuine Muslims?

Why is Malaysia cutting itself off from the overwhelming majority of 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) as only Malaysia and Brunei are the only two of the 57 countries which have not ratified the ICERD?

“There are 38 countries with the monarchical system, out of which 36 countries have ratified the ICERD including the United Kingdom in 1969, Norway 1970, Sweden 1971, Denmark 1971, Netherlands 1971, Jordan 1974, Belgium 1975, Japan in 1995, and Saudi Arabia 1997.

“There are absolutely no indications that the ratification of ICERD by these 36 countries have undermined the monarchical system as to lead to their abolition.

“The ICERD issue is a warning to all Malaysians that the ‘New Malaysia’ vision which was the cause of the historic May 9, 2018 decision which saw a peaceful and democratic transition of power for the first in six decades, and gave hope to the world that democracy as a system of government to achieve freedom, justice and good governance for the people in the world, can still fail if we allow political opportunists and desperadoes to exploit the toxic politics of lies, hatred, race and religion to the extent of unleashing racial and religious conflicts.”

We are still living with the consequences of such toxic politics of lies, hatred, race and religion, so deftly mobilised during the ICERD fiasco in 2018, whether it be the “Sheraton Move” conspiracy in February this year to topple a legitimate government and replace it with a backdoor and illegitimate government, or what will happen in Parliament on Thursday as to whether in the midst of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic which had killed 337 persons in the last eleven months, Parliament is to be suspended and a state of emergency declared to be followed by 15th General Election at an indefinite date when the Covid-19 epidemic is brought under control.

A few days ago, in his new capacity as the Minister for Communications and Multimedia of the Perikatan Nasional government, Saifuddin spoke of the problem of “trust deficit” which has led some people to defy standard operating procedures (SOP) and government instructions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said an analysis has found that there is “trust deficit” among some people, causing them to question data provided by the Ministry of Health and action taken by the National Security Council (MKN), besides being angry, sarcastic and cynical as well as making political statements.

Does Saifuddin realise that he is one of the political leaders who had created this “trust deficit” in the country, as when he was Foreign Minister in the Pakatan Harapan Govenrment, he allowed the toxic politics of lies, hatred, race and religion to run wild to demonise the DAP as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Royalty when DAP, whether in government or outside, had nothing to do with the then Foreign Ministry’s proposal to ratify ICERD?

This was why I had asked as the former director-general of Special Affairs Department (JASA) Puad Zakrkashi had spent over RM100 million of JASA budget from 2015 – 2018 to demonise DAP as anti-Malay, anti-Islam, anti-Royalty and communist and to glamorize the 1MDB scandal, will Saifuddin assure Parliament tomorrow that the RM85.5 million revival of JASA is to undo the negative impacts of JASA’s previous two-prong campaign to demonise the DAP and to glamorize the 1MDB scandal and to fight fake news and false information?

Or will he agree with the Opposition that the RM85.5 million revival of JASA should be scrapped altogether as he himself was not aware of such a huge allocation before the presentation of the 2021 Budget to Parliament?

What will be Saifuddin’s stance in Parliament tomorrow?

We will know in 24 hours’ time.

MP FOR ISKANDAR PUTERI
Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Tuesday, 24th November 2020