PUTRAJAYA - The government will enact new legislation to protect the sanctity of the institution of the monarchy from being humiliated and attacked by irresponsible people, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said.
He said some existing laws would also be amended for the purpose.
"Ours is a constitutional monarchy, so the government must always ensure that our rulers are protected from unfounded slander and attacks by irresponsible people," he told reporters after delivering the new year message to staff of the Legal Affairs Division in the Prime Minister's Department.
"The objective is to ensure that our constitutional monarchy will always be protected from all kinds of attack," Liew said.
In formulating the new laws, the government would look at the constitutional monarchies in some Commonwealth countries, he said.
Liew said he would bring up the matter during his meeting with the respective legal heads and secretaries-general of all ministries at the end of this month.
The meeting would also look into the laws that had to be repealed and amended at the Parliament sessions this year, he said.
He said the government would likely also look at penalties because at the moment, the punishment for certain offences against the monarchy "was on the low side" (lenient).
Earlier in his speech, Liew said the rule of law must be the backbone of every level of government administration and management.
He added that the emphasis on the rule of law was crucial to gain the public's trust in the neophyte Pakatan Harapan government under the leadership of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said everyone, including regular citizens and the government, is subject to the rule of law.
"This principle is fair and to ensure that it (rule of law) can be implemented effectively, we have to guarantee that the legislation itself is stable.
"Second, we must have an independent judiciary. Third, there must be checks and balances in the judiciary and finally, we must guarantee the fundamental rights of Malaysians," he said.
Liew said the government was bound by the judiciary's decisions while stressing that every Malaysian deserved a fair trial in court.
Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/01/11/govt-eyes-new-laws-to-protect-monarchy/#qMQBLU87HusdUdtw.99