KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 — Putrajaya should set up a Unity Ministry that is sufficiently empowered to take pre-emptive measures to protect national harmony, MCA’s publicity spokesman said today.
Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker who heads the Barisan Nasional (BN) Chinese party’s religious harmony bureau claimed there were “many” radicals who abused religion and created tensions among the country’s multiracial, multireligious society, adding that “some Umno Ministers are guilty of this”.
“Such a Ministry, with its own importance, influence and a bigger budget, will go a long way in assuring the people that the BN government is serious about maintaining national unity along the guarantees enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
“It will also ease the fears permeating among the non-Muslims in the country,” he said in a statement.
Ti was responding to the prime minister’s parliamentary response yesterday that the government does not currently plan to introduce a new anti-racism and anti-discrimination law.
He said a new ministry was needed to combat these growing extremist threats and a “senior minister” should be placed in charge to prevent “other Ministers making unilateral statements” and promote greater inclusiveness.
He acknowledged that the government already has the Department of National Unity and Integration, which falls under the Prime Minister’s Department, but asserted that the agency is “toothless”.
“Otherwise, we would not have so many loose cannons shooting off their mouths!,” he said.