De facto minister for national unity P Waytha Moorthy with state community leaders at the Terengganu Buddhist Association Hall in Kuala Terengganu today. (Facebook pic)

KUALA TERENGGANU: A bill to set up the Harmony and Reconciliation Commission is expected to be tabled in Parliament this year.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator P Waytha Moorthy said the independent commission would, among others, have the task of finding ways to make peace among parties quarrelling over racial and religious matters, without resorting to police action.

“There are some issues that can be resolved through reconciliation.

“This commission will be entrusted with the powers to seek reconciliation between antagonistic or aggrieved parties, without going to the authorities.

“We’ll give these parties an opportunity to reconcile.

“But if what is said is too extreme, then it will be up to the police to take action,” he told reporters at a meeting with state community leaders at the Terengganu Buddhist Association Hall here today.

Waytha said they had been drafting the bill by studying what was being done by such commissions in countries like the United Kingdom and Australia.

The Department of National Unity and Integration will also hold sessions with NGOs and community leaders to get their views on the commission.

Asked about its membership, Waytha said it would comprise individuals who were experienced in addressing racial and religious issues, and those involved in serving society.


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