Waytha, we need your resignation, not assurances

TTF: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, P. Waytha Moorthy, has refused to apologise amid controversy surrounding a video clip in which he is seen telling foreign media reps that Malaysia did not practise religious freedom and that Hindus were forcibly being converted to Islam.

Instead of owning up to his blunder, he pinned the blame squarely on the previous Barisan Nasional administration by accusing UMNO of appointing him to government despite knowing his background.

His actions have emboldened social media activists, now seen referring to the Malays with all sorts of insults, including one posted by TTF yesterday in which a Chuan Hong Lee referred to the Malays as pigs and other unimaginable terms.

It is amazing that the Government of Malaysia (GoM) has yet to demand Waytha’s resignation as Minister of National Unity and Social Wellbeing, which comes off as a big joke considering the damage he’s done to the integrity of our nation’s multiracial and multicultural fabric.

Today, he gave assurance that the GoM would not abolish Article 153 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

But how can we trust the words of a man who more or less told foreign media reps that the GoM he himself now represents practised Islamic extremism?

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will not abolish Article 153 of the Federal Constitution in favour of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy said.

“The government has no intention to abolish Article 153. I also want to state as a lawyer, there is no discrimination involved and the special position of the Malays and natives including those from Sabah and Sarawak is safeguarded and protected.”

“The government gives assurance that Article 153 of the Federal Constitution will not be abolished.”

He also said at the same time, the government has made a decision to get legal opinion locally and internationally on the convention, in order to get a clearer picture.

The consultation, Waytha said, was also necessary based on the speech made by the Prime Minister at the United Nations, where he stated: “It will not be easy for us because Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, religious, cultural and multi-lingual. We will accord space and time for all to delineate and to decide freely based on democracy.”

Speaking during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat here today, the minister said at the moment, there was much confusion and uneasiness among the people on ICERD, including a lack of understanding.

“The consultation is necessary to get the approval from stakeholders before the government makes a decision on the ratification. But there is no timeframe fixed on the consultation process,” Waytha said.

Earlier, Datuk Sri, Azalina Othman Said (Umno-Pengerang) asked the government to state the details of the exemption to be given to Malaysia if the country ratified ICERD and the party and indicators that would determine whether the country has achieved the objective as stated in Article 1(4) of the Convention.

She also asked if the government could guarantee that the ratification of ICERD would not result in the loss of Article 153, especially on the racial quota system, permits, as well as services

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had said that the Cabinet needed to deliberate on the ICERD before any decision could be made.

She said this in response to concerns raised by certain quarters regarding the ICERD, which would commit its members to the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of understanding within all races.

Waytha Moorthy was reported as saying that Malaysia would ratify ICERD and five other treaties as early as the first quarter of next year.

On Nov 1, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said that Malaysia would only endorse the convention after consulting with all ethnic groups in the country.

Source: NST Online