PH taken to task over planned Bills tabling

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KUALA LUMPUR — Pakatan Harapan (PH) has not done any public engagement on the draft Bills for planned laws, said the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia yesterday.

Its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs, Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa will table three Bills in Parliament in October, the anti-discrimination, national harmony and reconciliation commission, and racial and religious hatred Bills.

“Despite the new government’s claims of commitment to openness and transparency, Pakatan has not demonstrated any step to institutionalise a framework for meaningful public engagement in law-making,” he said in a statement.

Razali noted the minister’s ignorance on the need for public and stakeholder consultations on these proposed laws was surprising.

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

He added there has been no opportunity to consider the compatibility of the proposed legislation with human rights, which is at odds with the government’s promise to make “Malaysia’s human rights record respected by the world” (Buku Harapan Promise 26).

“We hope this new government will not carry forward the negative past practices to ignore the need for stakeholder and public consultations in a democracy, and rush through legislation in Parliament,” he said.

All three Bills were mooted by Mujahid on July 24.

He had previously said the new Bills were aimed at curbing racial and religious hatred in the country.