Monday, 31 December 2018

Ways To Misunderstand ICERD

So it turns out that there is this Turkish UN representative who is flabbergasted that Malaysia chose to abstain from ratifying ICERD.

Gün Kut questioned how ICERD could become extremely politicised in Malaysia when it is for the protection of individuals against racial discrimination.

"Racism and racial discrimination is everywhere, so no state, country or government can claim there is no discrimination," he rightly explains. Interestingly, there is plenty of racism in Malaysia, but not even propagated by the Malays, who are the majority race in Malaysia.

Frequently, there are ads in the newspaper saying, "Chinese preferred" and "Indian only".

Gün said Malaysia now found itself facing more pressure than ever because it seemed as if it did not accept non-discrimination.

A lot of the people opposed to ICERD claimed that it violates the position of the Malay sultans and that of Islam. Again, I don't know where that fits in with discrimination or where they got that idea in the first place.

Initially, I thought they were trying to protect their privileges like their allocation for property purchase. But it turns out that they aren't even buying them in the first place.

Their allocation rather substantial, as the requirement in the state is for 40% of all property units to be set aside for Bumiputera (which also include Eurasians, and east Malaysian ethnic minorities). Properties reserved for Bumiputera are also given a 15% discount for units worth RM1 mil and above.

And yet:
According to the National Property Information Centre’s (Napic) Property Overhang Report for the second quarter 2018, there were 40% more unsold new residential units during the first half of 2017 than in the first half of 2016.

The number increased to 29,227 units, valued at RM17.24bil as of June 30, 2018. A year ago, it was 20,876 units, valued at RM12.26 bil.

The other privileges are like the Amanah Saham savings etc, but even those never get filled. As of today, Amanah Saham 1Malaysia (AS 1M) for example is "Fully Subscribed for Non-Bumi" but not for Bumiputera.

I don't think the Malays actually understand what ICERD is all about, but they fear losing privilege and being sidelined. Those are legitimate concerns, regardless of where in the world one lives.

The non-Malays are not happy either, because they realise that they are not being recognised for their efforts in nation-building and they aren't being treated fairly. Especially when they wish to buy homes or invest their money but aren't being allowed to do so because of quotas.

Again, not all Malays are the perpetrators, and not all non-Malays are victims. The world isn't a fair place and people's rights frequently get trampled upon.

Both sides have legitimate grouses, but they are never addressed because Malaysians believe that confrontation will lead to conflict and they fear another May 13.

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