KUALA LUMPUR: The National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) wants a parliamentary select committee (PSC) to be formed to gather more feedback from the public on the new Bill that will replace the Sedition Act.
NUCC working committee on law and policy head Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said the proposal to form a PSC on the National Harmony Bill would be put to the Dewan Rakyat by de facto law minister Nancy Shukri.
He said the PSC should be formed before the Bill was tabled in the Dewan. “It is not common practice to set up a select committee over a Bill. But there is a need here because it is a people-centric Bill and requires public consultation.
“The proposed PSC will approach the people on the ground and various groups to get their feedback,” he said on the sidelines of the National Unity Forum here yesterday.
Dr Mujahid, who is also Parit Buntar MP, said even though the NUCC was already engaging the public on the Bill, he did not see the proposed PSC as “a repeat” of those efforts because it was good to have more public consultation.
While Nancy has stated that the Bill will not be tabled this year, Dr Mujahid, who is a PAS leader, said it should not be delayed because the Sedition Act was being wielded as if “on a rampage”.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak pledged in 2012 to abolish the Sedition Act and replace it with the National Harmony Bill.
Universiti Malaya law lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Azmi Sharom, who was recently charged under the Act, was at the forum and said the Federal Constitution was “beautiful if properly applied”.
He said policies and laws must be made in the framework of the Constitution and must not go against it.
Council of Churches general secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri said the way forward was for the people to look within themselves and exercise love and compassion for others.