Chaos over ICERD

After Pakatan Harapan won GE-14 and became the current government, the people are anticipating the end of racial politics in Malaysia. Hence, the emergence of the phrase “Malaysia Baru”.


However, six months after GE-14, racial issues are still ongoing based on the reports by the media. In fact, it is increasing.


Recently, the issue of The International Convention on The Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination or commonly known by its acronym, ICERD, became one of the hottest racial-driven issue in the media.



ICERD issue first came under the spotlight at the end of October 2018 and became a progressive trend in the following month, reaching its peak on November 19 with 185 news.



Primarily, ICERD topic spike on that specific date due to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, P. Waytha Moorthy. The Parliament went ruckus when MP’s from the opposition bench called Waytha a ‘racist minister’ as he tried to explain on the ratification of ICERD.



Pie chart above highlights ‘Orang Melayu’, ‘Kontrak Sosial’ and ‘Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’ amongst the top issues that are making headlines in relation to the ICERD ratification controversy.


An 11-year old video of Waytha explaining racial inequality in Malaysia during his stint as HINDRAF leader is the reason behind his name-calling. In the video, he said that Indians in Malaysia have to convert into Muslims if they want to secure a spot in higher education or even when seeking for a job.



When we look at the influencers chart for the topic of ICERD, it can be seen that Tun Mahathir is the one who made the most statements regarding the matter with 551 statements over the past month.


UMNO President Zahid Hamidi took the second position as he is one of the main players in opposing the ratification of ICERD. He came out with 494 statements. Following, Waytha helm the third spot due to his past interview video.


PAS President, Abdul Hadi Awang comes in fourth 379 statements. He shared the same sentiment as Zahid in going against the convention ratification.


Overall, the idea of Malaysia signing ICERD has become a controversial issue. Looking at the current sentiment, it seems like Malaysia will not be signing ICERD in the near future.