MCA Youth has denied DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang’s statement that Barisan Nasional component parties are keeping silent on the tabling of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill.
Its secretary-general Leong Kim Soon claimed that everyone, especially the Chinese community, was aware how MCA was the first to oppose the syariah enactment.
“MCA president Liow Tiong Lai also stressed that MCA’s stance remained unchanged in opposing the syariah enactment, and even staked his Cabinet post for this matter, urging all BN component parties to stand together in opposing the implementation of the syariah enactment.
“News of MCA opposing the syariah enactment was widely reported in the media. I am puzzled why Lim Kit Siang continues to play dumb and ignorant till today,” he said in a statement today.
Leong added that Liow had emphasised up until yesterday of MCA’s objections against the private member’s bill.
“On the contrary, DAP had misled the people to vote for PAS in the last two elections so that the party could win. Although DAP is comprised mostly of non-Muslim MPs, it is only good at shirking responsibilities.
“MCA challenges DAP to openly declare its stance on PAS and syariah-supporting Pakatan Harapan. If DAP opposes the syariah enactment, it should leave the Selangor state government, stop working with PAS and show their objections through actions, instead of paying lip service.”
Lim yesterday said he was shocked when the Parliament order paper he received for the incoming Parliamentary session showed the bill to be the fourth item on the list.
“Under the circumstances, the possibility that Hadi’s private member’s bill motion will come up for debate and voting either on Tuesday, or even on Monday, cannot be ruled out,” he said yesterday.
The bill seeks to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355, which limits the syariah court’s punishment to a maximum fine of RM5,000, three years’ jail or six strokes of the rotan. The amendment seeks to remove these limits.
It is referred to as the ‘Hudud Bill’ as it would ultimately pave the way for the partial implementation of the Islamic penal code, specifically in PAS-ruled Kelantan, which has already passed an enactment to that effect.
However, the Kelantan state enactment cannot be implemented as long as the punishment limits meted out by the syariah court remain.
Rafizi seeks to clear the air
Meanwhile, PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli sought to clear the air over the effects of voting for the bill.
The bill, he said, was only to obtain the Dewan Rakyat’s agreement for it to be referred to the relevant minister and for it to be considered.
“For the bill to be presented, it must first obtain the government’s permission.
“Which means that it must obtain the permission of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and this permission is shown through the permission from the minister in charge of parliamentary affairs (Azalina Said Othman),” he said.
Rafizi refuted claims that all would be in chaos should the bill go for the voting process - that hudud would be implemented in the country as a result.
“If it is tabled by the Marang MP (Hadi), voted and passed - it will still be a long way to go before hudud is implemented.
“This is because the voting process is just to obtain the Dewan Rakyat’s permission to refer the bill to the minister responsible for it to be considered.
“As long as the minister does not state that the bill is a government’s bill and is to be debated again, voting for the bill is nothing more than stating one’s moral support without legal repercussions,” he said, citing the Standing Orders.
Therefore, Rafizi wants Najib to answer whether he would allow the bill to be prioritised over other government bills.
“If he allows it, will he instruct (minister in charge of Islamic affairs) Jamil Khir Baharom to formulate a new government act (taking into account Hadi’s suggestion) to be tabled, voted and then implemented?
“As long as Najib remains silent just like how he is over the 1MDB issue, we should not fight each other on this issue,” Rafizi said. - Mkini