Minister: Existing laws in Malaysia adequate, National Harmony Commission Bill will not be continued

The bill on the National Harmony and Reconciliation Commission to tackle racial sentiment issues will not be continued, Dewan Rakyat was told today. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
The bill on the National Harmony and Reconciliation Commission to tackle racial sentiment issues will not be continued, Dewan Rakyat was told today. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — The bill on the National Harmony and Reconciliation Commission to tackle racial sentiment issues will not be continued, Dewan Rakyat was told today.

National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique stressed that the existing laws were regarded as adequate to tackle issues linked to religion and race currently.

She explained that the result of a scrutiny found that most of the functions proposed in the bill overlapped with the existing acts and regulations.

‘’Due to the many overlapping functions, the government decided that it has no intention to formulate another new law (bill on the National Harmony and Reconciliation Commission) said to be fair and complete because the existing acts are adequate.

‘’The country already has enough laws to look after the inter-racial and religious harmony. Those who deliberately disrupt unity and harmony can be investigated and charged under the acts,’’ she said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks to the address of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the ministry in Dewan Rakyat here, today.

Among the existing regulations were the Sedition Act 1948 (Act 15); Section 504, Section 505 and Section 506 of the Penal Code (Act 574) and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588).

The roles and functions proposed in the bill would be co-ordinated and used as an implementation mechanism under the National Unity Advisory Council (MPPN), she said.

Touching on the issue of demolition of Hindu temples in Kedah, Halimah reminded that all parties, especially the state government and local authorities (PBT) to learn a lesson from the issue to perform tasks and actions more efficiently to prevent the same incident from happening again.

Meanwhile, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary celebration of Rukun Negara, she called on all people to appreciate and practice all these principles in daily life.

“If support alone is not enough, we need to learn it by heart and participate by practicing it through our behavior and conversation,” he said.

The Dewan Rakyat session continues tomorrow. — Bernama

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