Govt to table Bill to protect ‘religious and racial sensitivities from insults’ (updated)


KUALA LUMPUR: A Bill to protect religious and racial sensitivities from insults will be tabled in Parliament soon, says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

The move to table the proposed law comes in light of increasing cases of religious insults and racial slurs making their rounds on social media.

“The Pakatan Harapan Government intends to table a Bill in Parliament towards enacting the Religious and Racial Hatred Act (Akta Kebencian Agama dan Kaum),” he said when replying to a question by Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said (BN-Kuala Krau) during Minister's Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (July 24).

Dr Ismail wanted to know if the Government was considering tabling laws for firmer action against those who insult Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

Dr Mujahid, who oversees Islamic affairs, said the proposed law would cover not only Islam but insults against other religions too.

“This is to ensure that our multi-religious and multiracial society is protected from being insulted and belittled,” he added.

Although there have been incidents of Islam being insulted on social media, he said that the Government had yet to receive reports from the police on the matter.

On Islam's position under the Federal Constitution, Dr Mujahid said that Article 3(1) guarantees the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation.

However, he said that provision should be read in context of Article 11 which states that others are free to practise their faith.