Suhakam takes Pakatan to task over planned tabling of three anti-discriminatory Bills

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has slammed the Pakatan Harapan Government for not taking stakeholders into account before planning to table three new anti-discriminatory Bills in Parliament.

“The Pakatan Government has not demonstrated any steps to institutionalise a framework for meaningful public engagement in law-making,” it said in a statement on Friday (Aug 10).

Suhakam was referring to the Anti-Discrimination Bill, the National Harmony and Reconciliation Commission Bill and the Religious Racial Hatred Bill.

All three Bills were mooted by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (pic) on July 24.

It added that the Pakatan government had previously pledged commitment to openness and transparency, as these are central pillars of effective governance.

The Commission also said that it was surprised that Dr Mujahid had ignored the need for public and stakeholder consultation on these proposed Bills.

“Suhakam reiterates that the public should be invited to give feedback on the draft Bills through online or other platforms for a fixed duration as in the case of many democracies around the world,” it added.

Dr Mujahid previously said that these new Bills were aimed at curbing racial and religious hatred in the country.

The Amanah Parit Buntar MP said that under these new laws, those guilty of humiliating religion and race can face a jail sentence of up to seven years or a fine of RM100,000.