Previous govt did not push for National Harmony Bills, says Lee

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 25 Jul 2018

PETALING JAYA: Despite the drafts being ready, there was no further action from the previous administration to push for the National Harmony Bills aimed at strengthening racial and religious ties, integration and unity.

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic), the former deputy chairman of the National Unity Consultative Council, which was set up in 2013 to come up with the law, said the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) had studied the matter and drawn up nine key outcomes and 15 recommendations.

“The previous Cabinet said they wanted to go through the recommendations again, so we submitted the report and left it to them.

“But there were no further developments,” he said, adding that he even communicated several times with former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (in charge of unity) Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.

“We were disappointed that no further actions were taken on the recommendations,” he said, adding that the NUCC had thought the government would say which recommendations could be implemented.

Attempts to contact Kurup were unsuccessful.

Another former NUCC member, Anas Zubedy, said the council came up with many good ideas, but the proposals were probably not conducive at the time because “what we recommended was very holistic and required the previous government to take a lot of bold steps”.

Anas said now is a good time to revisit the Bills under the new reform-minded government.

“In NUCC, we all had different views but we managed to come up with the proposals. They are very thorough,” he added.

Former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (in charge of law) Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said she received the proposals before they were submitted to Kurup’s department.

“After my comments, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup called for a meeting within his agency; I was also invited.

“After that first meeting, I was not involved anymore. I moved to another portfolio taking charge of other agencies,” she said.

The NUCC was an advisory body initiated by the prime minister to strengthen the concept of national reconciliation.

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Government , NUCC , law , drafts , Bills


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