PETALING JAYA: A Sabah MP has hit out at two Umno leaders for justifying the contentious shariah bill at the expense of betraying the freedom promised to the people of Sabah and Sarawak.
Penampang MP Darell Leiking said remarks by Umno minister Jamil Khir Baharom and deputy minister Ahmad Maslan on the amendments to the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 will not be agreeable to Sabahans.
Leiking said it was best for the state to reject the act now.
“We now know it is indeed the intention of (prime minister) Najib Razak to table the act, whether alone or together with PAS, for the purpose of wooing Malay voters.
“But this is done at the expense of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the special privilleges of Sabah and Sarawak intended by our founding forefathers.
“There will be no more safeguards to protect Sabah from the act which is a veiled attempt to make hudud law enforceable all over the Federation of Malaysia,” Leiking said in a statement today.
PAS has moved a private member’s bill to increase the punishment that shariah courts can impose, via the amendment to the act.
The Islamic party seeks to increase the punishment meted out by shariah courts to 30 years’ imprisonment, RM100,000 fine and 100 lashes of the cane. Now it is limited to three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the rotan.
Detractors have viewed this as being against the Federal Constitution as it appeared to usurp powers from the civil courts, while proponents say shariah laws are only applicable to Muslims.
Recently, Jamil had said the federal government would move to table the private member’s bill if the one by PAS does not get through. Ahmad has urged all BN MPs to support the bill once it is tabled in the Dewan Rakyat.
Leiking, who is Parti Warisan Sabah deputy president, said the effects of the amendment would be felt in Sabah as the state assembly had, in 1989, allowed the act to be enforceable in the state.
“So far, we do not know for sure if all the previous leaders of PBS back then in 1989, including Pairin Kitingan, Yong Teck Lee, Bernard Dompok, Wilfred Bumburing and many more, had actually debated on this extension (to Sabah).
“It is imperative they shed some light on this issue.”
Leiking said Sabah’s privileges have been “trampled on” with the “humiliating” support of Putrajaya on the amendment to the act.
He called on Sabah and Sarawak lawmakers to reject the shariah law by rejecting it at the state level.
“It is a total humiliation for any political leader from Sabah to be on their knees, singing praises and clamouring support for this man (prime minister) when he had clearly forsaken Sabah and Sarawak.
“Umno holds 30 out of the 60 seats in the Sabah assembly.
“I believe if other BN representatives can muster enough strength and courage to fight for our beloved land together with Warisan, we can restore whatever has been agreed on from the beginning.” -FMT