FROM ‘NO NO NO’ TO ‘YES YES YES’? GERAKAN STARTS TO ‘CRACK’ WHILE MCA HIDES BEHIND RHETORIC TO UMNO’S CALL TO TOE HUDUD LINE
BN component parties cannot be compelled to toe Umno’s line on planned amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355), at least in theory, Gerakan Youth deputy chief Andy Yong says.
However, Yong conceded that Umno supreme council member Ahmad Maslan was right that BN components cannot object to the amendments, since the government intends to take over the amendment bill.
“Theoretically, he (Ahmad) is wrong as BN component MPs can’t be compelled (to support a government bill)… But in reality he is right,” Yong told Malaysiakini.
He explained that by convention BN parties will toe the line when it comes to government bills, but stressed that the parties have to agree to it beforehand.
In light of this, Yong said, BN component parties must be allowed to look at the proposed Act 355 amendments and voice their objections before it is tabled.
“Gerakan will never support any bill that is unconstitutional… that is why Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong proposed to form a parliamentary select committee (on the matter),” he said.
The government is slated to take over PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill to amend Act 355 once his motion on the matter reaches the second reading during the Dewan Rakyat session next March.
This was after Hadi read out a revised version of the motion in the House last month.
He had previously sought to abolish the penalties cap prescribed under Act 355, from the present three years’ jail, six strokes of the whip and RM5,000 fine.
This would allow states such as Kelantan and Terengganu to put into force their respective enactments on hudud.
Eventually, Hadi amended his motion to propose a higher cap of 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 strokes of the whip.
Although Hadi had toned down his demands, several BN component parties said they would still oppose the bill on grounds of it being unconstitutional. – MKINI
MEANWHILE, according to the Malay Mail:
KUALA LUMPUR — MCA is not legally bound to support the amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355 even if the Bill was proposed by the government, the party’s Young Professionals and Varsity Affairs’ Bureau Chairman said today.
Choo Wei Sern argued that Article 13 of the Barisan Nasional constitution clearly states BN component parties are only obliged to support a Bill or policy if they were made through the consensus of all member parties.
“Under the Barisan Nasional framework, the need for decisions to be made by consensus between the component parties are not only in spirit but also specifically stated in Article 13 of the Barisan Nasional Constitution.
“As the Federal Government of the day is administered by Barisan Nasional, decisions must be made in accordance with this principle,” Choo said in a statement.
The statement was made in response to Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan’s claim that BN component parties cannot object to the amendments if the Shariah Courts Bill becomes a government bill.
Choo said the statement is “yet another clear example of Ahmad Maslan’s ignorance of the Barisan Nasional framework and the lawmaking process in Malaysia”.
The MCA Youth leader added legislation which is tabled in Parliament is to be debated and voted upon by all Members of Parliament, be it from Barisan Nasional or otherwise.
“Even if a Bill is tabled by the Government of the day, unless and until the Bill is made through the consensus of the Barisan Nasional component parties, each and every Member of Parliament including those from Barisan Nasional is entitled to vote against it,” he said.
As such,Choo said that any amendment to Act 355 must be agreed upon by all the Barisan Nasional component parties if it is to obtain the support of all the BN MPs. – MALAY MAIL