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    Zuraida joins push for anti-racism, hate speech law

    (Updated )

    Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin has added her voice to calls for the introduction of laws to curb racism and hate speech.

    "I will propose to the government to craft a law that is more stern against racist offenders and those who spread hate.

    "It is time for the government's commitment and seriousness to tackle this threat to be strengthened.

    "Let us rise and develop without distrust. We all Malaysians," she said in a statement today.

    Last week, de facto Islamic Affairs Minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa also called for a law against hate speech.

    He also hoped for the inclusion of a hate speech provision in the Sedition Act 1948, and wants the National Harmony and Reconciliation Commission set up by this year.

    The National Unity Consultative Council had previously mooted a hate speech law back in 2014, but nothing came of it.

    Race relations in the country have been tense over the past few months, due to a number of issues, the latest being a boycott against non-Muslim products.

    Zuraida did not touch on any specific issues in her statement, but said there appears to be a clear coordinated effort to ignite racial tensions in the country.

    She expressed concern that this could lead to national destruction if not dealt with, and called for an end to the hypocrisy of "speaking of unity, but still being a racist at heart."

    Zuraida said her ministry is working hard on ongoing efforts to promote integration among the people when it comes to housing, by emphasising the need for community development through physical development as well as community activities.

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