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National Harmony Bill Still Under Discussion

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KUALA LUMPUR – The government is still reviewing the need for the proposed National Harmony Bill, which is at the discussion stage, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said if the government decided to enact the act, it would be more like a preventive measure to complement the Sedition Act 1948.

“The act is aimed at fostering national unity and preventing any incident which can harm national solidarity,” he said in a written reply to a question from Sim Tong Him (DAP-Kota Melaka) in the Dewan Rakyat, here, today.

Sim had wanted to know the status of the proposed bill after the amendments to the Sedition Act 1948 were passed recently.

Najib also reiterated that the act would promote national harmony based on four key elements, namely mutual respect, assistance, cooperation and networking.

Najib said to date, various initiatives had and were still being taken to obtain input and suggestions from stakeholders through forums, seminars and roundtable discussions.

The initiatives were carried out by the government through the National Unity and Integration Department together with other government departments and agencies, non-governmental organisations, and professional and religious bodies.

In July 2012, the Sedition Act was proposed to be repealed and replaced by a new law to be known as the National Harmony Act.

However, Najib, in his winding-up speech at the Umno General Assembly in November 2014, announced that not only would the act be retained, but would also be strengthened to ensure the country’s peace, harmony and stability would prevail. – BERNAMA

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