Religious and Racial Hatred Act in the pipeline (Updated)

24 Jul 2018 / 15:29 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government plans to introduce a Religious and Racial Hatred Act in the near future in an attempt to protect Islam and other religions in the country from insults and slurs.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said while the decision was made in light of various cases of insults made against Islam, the proposed act would not be exclusive to the religion.
"The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government intends to table a bill on the Religious and Racial Hatred Act soon, where actions can be taken under this act, not only against those who insult Islam, but against other religions too.
"This is to ensure that insults and slurs against any race and religion in the country is forbidden," he said in the Dewan Rakyat, here today.
The minister in charge of religious affairs was responding to a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said (BN-Kuala Krau) on what actions were being taken by the government to address the issues of attacks made against Islam on social media.
Mujahid however did not elaborate on the specifics of the act nor the expected timeframe on when it could be expected to be implemented.
The supplementary question was a follow up to Ismail's main question as to what extent the government would assure the sanctity of Islam, in accordance with Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution, is protected.
Mujahid responded by saying the article had clearly stated that Islam remained the number one religion in the country, while noting that there were several other articles that also supported this claim.
"Based on this provision, it is clear that Article 3(1) has acknowledged the position of Islam as the federal religion, and all quarters must respect this.
"This is to encourage unity as well as create peace and harmony, regardless of race, ethnicity and religion," he said.
Mujahid also noted that while Islam remained the federal religion, other religions should be allowed to be practised freely.

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