National Harmony Bill likely to be tabled at next Parliament session

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — The National Harmony Bill, aimed at fostering national unity among the people is expected to be tabled in Parliament in the coming session.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said the bill would focus on preventive measures which would steer the people away from activities detrimental to national unity and solidarity.

“It is aimed at educating and creating awareness among the people so that they will not do something that touches on sensitive issues and lead to misunderstanding,” he told reporters after launching the state-level Unity Week and Waving the Jalur Gemilang 2015 programme here today.

Elaborating, he said the department was still gathering inputs and views from various parties related to the proposed National Harmony Bill.

“We hope there will be (parties) such as non-governmental organisations and people involved in politics who will come forward and give their views.”

In July 2012, the government had proposed to abolish the Sedition Act 1948 and replace it with a new law called the National Harmony Act.

However, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his winding-up speech at the 2014 Umno General Assembly announced the decision to retain the Sedition Act 1948 to maintain national peace and harmony. — Bernama

Public, media in rally for press freedom

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Media practitioners and participants gather for a rally against 3-month suspension over The Edge on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, August 8, 2015. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 ― Some 200 people marched in a rally dubbed #AtTheEdge today calling for press freedom in response to Putrajaya’s banning of two local newspapers and a foreign website.

The rally was intended as a show of solidarity with The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily that were suspended for three months in July by the Home Ministry and UK-based Sarawak Report that has been blocked by local Internet regulators. Read more