KUALA LUMPUR, 14 Sept 2008: The MCA has proposed to the government to draft a race relations act to strengthen relations among multi-ethnic Malaysians.
Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said such an act was relevant and necessary, in view of racial issues resurfacing and plaguing the nation, of late.
He said the proposed act could also reinforce efforts taken by the unity, culture, arts and heritage ministry to promote unity and solidarity among the people.
"We will propose to the ministry. Such act is needed to look into race relations, (and) how to engage a multi-racial community into positive relations and avoid discrimination.
"Some countries have in place, such an act, where you can’t discriminate or belittle other races," he told reporters after opening The Federation of Malaysian Clans and Guild Youth Association’s annual meeting here today.
The proposal comes in the wake of the detention of a Sin Chew Daily reporter under the Internal Security Act (ISA) last Friday, following her news report on former Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail’s disparaging remarks about the Chinese on the eve of the Permatang Pauh by-election last month.
Liow, who is also health minister, said the use of the ISA in the case was inappropriate and that the act must be reviewed, despite it still serving a certain degree of purpose in maintaining security and harmony.
Earlier in his speech, he said the MCA had set up a task force to work with the Public Service Department on ways to recruit more Chinese into the civil service.
He said the drastic drop in Chinese participation in the civil service – from 21% in the 1970s to 9.7% in 2006 – was worrying, and did not reflect a positive image for the government. – Bernama