Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) have yet to state its stand on the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 Amendment Bill (RUU 355) because it is believed to be keen on keeping its ties in the opposition pact intact, said Umno information chief Annuar Musa.
He said the failure of Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin in stating the party's stand could be because he could be overshadowed by the decision of the DAP-dominated opposition pact, which openly rejected the bill.
"It is a consensus within the opposition ranks, although individually many support (the bill), they have to follow what is prescribed by their alliance.
"That's why PAS leaders who fought for this for almost half of their lives, have already changed their tone, even on religion, when they switched parties, and are no longer in PAS," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.
Annuar also described the action of DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang who arbitrarily opposed the motion to table RUU355 as not respecting Article 3 (1) of the Federal Constitution which touched on the position of Islam as the official religion of the federation.
According to Annuar, matters touching on the Islamic religion must be discussed in an orderly manner by all races out of respect for the position of the religion.
Meanwhile, Natural Resources Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (BN-Santubong) when commenting on the matter, said U-turns among the opposition had become something normal.
In fact, he said to date, the views of the opposition RUU355 were still not in concert compared to the Barisan Nasional.
"One day we hear this view, tomorrow it changes. Difficult to evaluate their stand," he said.
The media, prior to this had reported Muhyiddin as saying Bersatu could not yet decide on RUU355 as long as it was not tabled in Parliament.
Muhyiddin was reported as saying this when commenting on the statement of PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, that the former deputy prime minister backed the proposed amendments to increase penalties for Syariah offences.