PETALING JAYA: Sarawak state leaders have yet to be briefed on the proposed amendments to the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355), says Nancy Shukri.
Until then, the state’s position will remain the same, which is to reject the proposed amendments that are viewed as a way to implement hudud law in certain parts of the country, added the Batang Sadong MP.
Nancy is also minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
“Sarawak’s stand, if it is hudud, we will not support. I have to go along with my leader (Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem).
“So far they (Umno leaders) have not briefed us. All states are supposed to be briefed but the leaders have yet to sit together to confirm what it (the proposed amendment) actually is.
“Although, as a legal person I know what it is, I have to stand by my party’s principle of waiting until we get the briefing,” she told a press conference at the One City mall in Subang Jaya, here today.
The proposed amendments to Act 355 were brought to parliament by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang through a private member’s bill last year.
It initially sought to give unlimited punitive power to shariah courts, leading the public to believe that it is merely a way for PAS to implement hudud in Kelantan.
Hadi addressed this concern by amending his proposal and capping the punishments at 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine, and 100 strokes of the cane.
Many Barisan Nasional’s (BN) component parties, however, still believe it is just a back door to gradually introduce hudud law.
“It’s not that we are opposing just for the sake of opposing,” Nancy said.
“But it’s because we already have an alternative, which is the shariah law, and we believe this is sufficient.
“Hudud is not suitable (in Sarawak) because, you must remember, the majority of Sarawak’s population is non-Muslim.”
Asked about Umno supreme council member Ahmad Maslan’s statement that BN component parties were compelled to support the amendments once the bill was taken over by the federal government, presumably in the March Dewan Rakyat session, Nancy said: “State governments have the authority to decide whether to adopt it or not, even if parliament approves the amendments.
“You can’t force the state to accept it.” - FMT