KUALA LUMPUR: The three harmony Bills drafted by a National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) working committee do not challenge the position of Islam and the Rulers.
Neither do they derogate the special position of Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak, said NUCC’s Working Committee on Law and Policy. The proposed new laws that pave the way for the abolition of the Sedition Act are Racial and Religious Hate Crimes Bill; National Harmony and Reconciliation Bill; and National Harmony and Reconciliation Com-mission Bill.
According to the working committee’s chair and deputy chair – Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa and Lim Chee Wee – respectively: “These Bills are not inconsistent with the Federal Constitution and do not seek to interfere with, derogate from nor question any provision of the Federal Constitution.”
They said these Bills, for consideration by the NUCC, were aimed at strengthening national unity.
When contacted, Lim said they were responding to comments from the Malay Consultative Council (MPM). At a press conference on June 5, MPM’s Constitutional and Consultative Bureau chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman had urged the Government to review its decision to abolish the Sedition Act in view of latest developments.
He claimed the three Bills were designed to erode the sovereignty of fundamental matters by focusing only on the principle of equality but ignoring the principle of positive discrimination, which was an exception in Article 8 of the Constitution.
Abdul Aziz challenged, among others, the setting up of a proposed “Unfair Discrimination Tribunal”, saying it would take over the role of the judiciary in deciding constitutional issues and that of the Rulers as head of the Islamic religion.
Lim said the Bills were at the public consultation stage and would be deliberated at length by the NUCC at its next meeting.
“The committee invites feedback on these draft Bills from interested parties and individuals,” he said.
In their statement, Dr Mujahid and Lim had also said that the NUCC believed these Bills would enhance national unity and eliminate hate crimes against any race or religion so essential to maintaining peace and harmony.
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