'Harmony Bills must be consistent'

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: The proposed National Harmony Bills must not compromise “the letter and spirit” of the Federal Constitution, including the position of the Malays and bumiputra, said Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said Umno Youth had identified four areas that must not be affected by the Bills and they would submit a memorandum to a committee in the party that was tasked to ensure the new laws would be in sync with its position.

The new Bills, he said, must also punish those who insult Malay Rulers as well as any race and religion professed in the country.

“We want the Bills to be consistent with the Federal Constitution particularly Articles 3, 152, 153 and 181,” he said after chairing the movement’s exco meeting.

Khairy said the new laws must also ensure that affirmative action or the Government’s agenda to empower the Malays and bumiputra were not deemed discriminatory practices.

The movement also wants the Bills to ensure there would be no discrimination towards any citizen based on one’s religion, ethnic background, birthplace or sex as stated under Article 8 of the Constitution.

“However, the issue of discrimination must stop at that. There must be no further inclusion,” he said in reference to attempts to include a clause in the new law to state that there would be no discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation.

Khairy said the meeting also supported Johor Umno Youth’s call for a fee to be imposed on Singapore-registered vehicles, saying that it was time the Government earned some revenue from such vehicles that were on Malaysian roads.

“We need to start imposing such fees and make sure those with unpaid traffic summonses cannot enter Malaysia.

“We have been very generous but unfortunately, such treatment has not been reciprocated. We were hoping that Singapore would lower fees on foreign vehicles but they raised it instead,” he said, adding that the matter would be raised in Cabinet today.

Singapore had recently announced that foreign vehicles were to pay S$35 (RM89) a day to enter the island republic. This was up from S$20 (RM51) previously.

Insisting that the proposal was not “tit-for-tat”, Khairy dispelled concerns that the move would deter Singaporeans from visiting Malaysia, hence affecting tourism and businesses.

“I don’t see why Singaporeans will stop visiting just because of the few ringgit that we impose on them,” he added.

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