16 Jul 2013 07:53

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 (Bernama) -- The National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) is to be set up by the end of the year to advise the government on efforts at uniting the various ethnic groups in the country.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said the National Unity and Integration Department with the cooperation of the Institute of Ethnic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia had held several series of dialogues and round table discussions with several parties to obtain inputs on the formation of the council.

"Those participating in the dialogues gave their views from the perspective toward efforts at achieving national unity. We took the outcome from these dialogues to create the National Unity Plan (formation of NUCC) as suggested previously," he said in an interview with Bernama.

Kurup said the dialogue sessions which were referred to as the "Consultation on Developing a National Agenda for Reconciliation" had been held here on May 28, Kota Baharu (June 25), Putrajaya (June 28), Kuching (July 3) and Kota Kinabalu (July 4). In addition, a workshop was also held at Universiti Putra Malaysia on July 13 and 14 to obtain the inputs.

"After the workshop, in the immediate future, we will present the inputs to the Cabinet for approval... We hope the NUCC can be created before year end," he said.



The suggestion for the formation of the NUCC was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Dewan Rakyat on June 26 as part of the efforts to achieve national unity and forge closer relations between the people of various races in the country which appeared to have been split and leading to racial polarisation after the May 13 general election.

Several national figures including the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Yayasan 1Malaysia, Datuk Dr Chandra Muzzafar and board member Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye had submitted several suggestions on the formation of the NUCC.

The suggestions included that the NUCC be created under an act of Parliament, headed by a minister in the Prime Minister's department responsible for national unity and integration, with the members comprising those representing the various communities and those doing research on ethnic relations in the country.

However, Kurup said all the suggestions including inputs from several series of dialogues held were still being studied by his ministry.