Malaysiakini News

Harapan revisiting National Harmony bill, says minister

Published:  |  Modified:

Pakatan Harapan is re-evaluating the National Harmony Bill which was initiated by the previous BN government.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of national unity and social well-being, P Waythamoorthy promised that all stakeholders will be consulted over the matter.

"The National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) had in 2015 drafted several bills such as the Religious and Racial Hatred Bill, the National Harmony and Reconciliation Bill and the National Harmony and Reconciliation Commission Bill.

"These draft bills did not progress after NUCC became dormant in 2015. The National Unity Department, under the then BN rule, in the interim had drafted a National Harmony Bill with the inclusion of a commission.

"Harapan government is now in the process of re-evaluating this new draft bill and will engage with all stakeholders including the incoming NUCC members for the period 2018-2020, public stakeholders, and various NGO’s to obtain their input prior to obtaining feedback from the Attorney-General's Chambers and other related agencies in the current administration," he said in a statement.

Waythamoorthy was addressing concerns raised by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) which had urged the government to consult stakeholders in the drafting of new laws.

Waythamoorthy said he will ensure this is done in relation to any bill related to race relations.

"I am also concerned with the disharmony amongst Malaysians caused by the previous government in its pursuit to maintain its political power of the nation.

"The Harapan government under the able leadership of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad will strive to enhance and strengthen race relations among Malaysians.

"The progress and development of the nation would be meaningless if Malaysians become disunited, leading to disharmony," he said.

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