Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) vice president Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusuf has called on the government to criminalise racial extremism after such sentiments were played so badly in the 15th General Election (GE15) campaign.
According to Utusan, Mujahid said a proposal for the drafting of the National Unity Act will be brought to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in preparation for the state elections that would be held in several states soon, including Selangor and Penang, where Pakatan Harapan (PH) is the ruling party.
In the proposal, acts of extremism such as playing on racial issues should be considered criminal acts.
Mujahid pointed out that social media exploded with racial and religious sentiments from both sides of the political fence in the 15th General Election (GE15) campaign and it has become the basis for the people to make choices when voting, instead of facts and policy comparisons.
He added that it worsened after Anwar was appointed Prime Minister, which made the opposition bloc, the PN unhappy.
“But making choices based on sentiments and racial impulses. This is very disappointing and that is why we organise this program so that there is awareness that this matter needs to be addressed.”
“We want the people realise that voting in the name of sentiment will not bring the country forward. Of course we are worried, especially in the run-up to state elections, We are worried that they (opposing parties) may use the same tactics (playing with sentiments). This is a big challenge for the country,” he said.
Mujahid also said that such an act is necessary to help the government in its political will to stop the game of racial and religious sentiments.
Meanwhile, he said that the coalition that between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) at the Federal Government level could be emulated at the state level.
“In Malaysia, we need this cooperation because the issues brought up are very critical. If we form a government and are still talking about each other, it will not help convince the voters,” he said.