Fairfield councillor Ken Yeung says he is not against people’s freedom of speech but is against those who publicly humiliate people on racial or ethnic grounds.
The Government wants to repeal key parts of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA), including Section 18c which currently makes it illegal to publicly “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” a person or a group of people.
But the plan to change section 18C has been roundly criticised by some people. Under draft proposals, the government would replace 18C with provisions making it unlawful to vilify or intimidate others on similar grounds, but with broad exemptions.
“I think freedom of speech should only be granted on the basis of respect,” Cr Yeung said.
“There will be more racial humiliation and there will be people taking freedom of speech for granted without section 18C”.
Cr Yeung said when he first arrived in Australia in 1992 he was a victim of racaism.
“I was only a child but a random man came up to me and said ‘You’re Asian, you’re rubbish’,” he said. “Although we have section 18C in place we still experience racial insults. You can imagine what’ll happen without it.
Interview with Cr Ken Yeung: