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Previous gov't didn't act on NUCC's drafts on harmony bills - Lam Thye

Published:  |  Modified:

Former deputy chairperson of the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) Lee Lam Thye said the previous BN government had failed to act on drafts on bills relating to national harmony.

In a report by The Star, Lee stated that the now-defunct NUCC had submitted up to nine key outcomes and 15 recommendations to the relevant ministry as part of its national unity blueprint.

“The previous cabinet said they wanted to go through the recommendations again, so we submitted the report and left it to them.

“But there were no further developments,” he reportedly said, alleging that no further action was taken.

According to The Star, former de facto law minister Nancy Shukri acknowledged she received the proposals before they were submitted to then minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Joseph Kurup.

However, the daily was unable to contact Kurup.

Meanwhile, another former NUCC member Anas Zubedy was quoted calling on the new government to revisit the bills.

Anas opined that perhaps the previous government was not open to the recommendations made by the council as what was proposed "was very holistic and required the previous government to take a lot of bold steps”.

The NUCC was formed in 2013 by Najib Abdul Razak, who was the prime minister then, to advise the government on ways to strengthen national unity.

The 29-member council comprised politicians, lawyers, academics, writers and civil rights activists, among others.

It was previously reported that the NUCC had drafted the National Harmony and Reconciliation Bill, the National Harmony and Reconciliation Commission Bill, and the Racial and Religious Hate Crimes Bill.

The NUCC completed its task in 2015.

Najib had, in 2012, announced plans for the National Harmony Act to replace the Sedition Act 1948.

In 2017, Kurup had insisted that the planned National Harmony Act was not scrapped but still being studied.

It was recently announced by the Pakatan Harapan government that elements of the NUCC would be incorporated into the proposed Consultative Council on Harmo­nious Relations.

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