BN component parties will not be able to object against amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) once the relevant bill is taken over by the Federal Government.
According to Umno supreme council member Ahmad Maslan, BN component parties are compelled to support the bill as part of the ruling coalition.
"Before this we hear that MCA didn't like (the planned amendments) to Act 355. MIC objected, and Gerakan objected too.
"When we asked them why they opposed, the answered 'How can we not? (The bill) was brought by (PAS president Abdul) Hadi (Awang)'," said told the Umno Overseas Club annual general meeting in PWTC today.
Abdul Hadi had tabled a motion to amend Act 355 during the Dewan Rakyat sitting last month. The matter would be debated during the next Dewan Rakyat session in March.
When the motion moves to the second reading stage, it would be taken over and read by Islamic Affairs Minister Jamil Khir Bahrom.
Abdul Hadi had previously sought the lifting of the penalties cap prescribed under Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act. This would allow states such as Kelantan and Terengganu to put into force their respective enactments which prescribes hudud law.
Eventually, Abdul Hadi amended his motion, proposing a higher cap instead for jail sentences, fines and lashes that could be handed by the Syariah courts.
The current cap is three years’ imprisonment, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the whip. The new cap sought by Abdul Hadi is 30 years jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 lashes.
Although Abdul Hadi had toned down the contents of his motion, BN component parties still claimed that the proposed amendments were unconstitutional.
Previously, MCA president Liow Tiong Lai vowed to quit cabinet if Abdul Hadi’s bill is passed.
But now that Putrajaya will take over the bill as their own, it is unsure what is the new position of BN component parties.
Ahmad added that the bill was how Umno would cement its "unity" with PAS, and was something that would be brought up in the afterlife.
"When asked (in the afterlife) about what we did about the development of Islam in Malaysia, we can't answer that we didn't support amendments to Act 355," he said.- Mkini