MCA President Liow Tiong Lai has been slammed for saying he would vote for a bill similar to that of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang's, if the government had tabled it.
DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang said Liow's statement "is most shocking and unbelievable as it is downright unprincipled and irresponsible".
"Such a declaration should reinforce general concerns whether MCA and the other BN parties could be trusted to firmly and uncompromisingly defend and uphold the constitutional principles of a secular democratic Malaysia with Islam as the official religion of the nation," said Lim in a statement.
According to Straits Times today, Liow, who had earlier threatened to resign should Hadi's bill be passed, was reported saying, "If the government were to move a similar bill, it would do it based on the spirit of the federal constitution, so I will vote for it."
MCA has been vehemently opposed to Hadi's Private Member's Bill to amend Act 355, the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act, whieh will effectively remove the final obstacle for Kelantan to implement its hudud laws.
Lim claimed there is speculation that the ruling party may take over Hadi's bill and present it as a government bill.
He asked if MCA and other BN parties had agreed to such an arrangement and authorised Umno to do so, or would Umno make the decision unilaterally.
"BN leader should understand that the issue is not who is presenting the bill or motion, whether PAS or Umno, but whether the constitutional principles and basis in the Merdeka constitution 1957 and Malaysia Agreeemnt 1963 establishing multi-racial, multi-religious, multilingual and multi-cultural Malaysia are upheld or undermined," said Lim.
'Non-Muslims have say'
The Gelang Patah MP also countered Hadi's claim that the bill, which aims to increase punishments allowable by the syariah courts, does not concern non-Muslims.
Lim pointed out Hadi in his speech at the Terengganu state assembly in July 2002 said Islamic laws would eventually cover non-Muslims.
“For now, it will apply to only Muslims but when the time comes, the hudud and qisas laws will be extended to all non-Muslims,” Lim quoted Hadi as having said at the time.
DAP Klang MP Charles Santiago also lambasted Hadi for attempting to exclude non-Muslims from discussion of the bill, which was presented to Parliament last year after Kelantan unanimously passed its hudud enactment.
"I am ... disgusted with his brutal and open threats by drawing parallels with the backlash faced by Jakarta's Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama," said Santiago in a statement today.- Mkini