LAST_UPDATEWed, 25 Apr 2018 11pm

Adenan Instructs Sarawak BN MPs To Vote Against Amendment Of Syariah Courts Act Today

Filepic: TBPFilepic: TBP

KUCHING: If PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts Act (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) were ever put to a vote, he will get no support from Sarawak Barisan Nasional MPs.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem instructed all state BN MPs to vote against Hadi’s Bill—which will be tabled for second reading today—when he met top state BN leaders at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex yesterday.

Present at the meeting were SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, PRS president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, PBB senior vice president Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and PBB deputy president Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Sarawak has 25 BN and six opposition (5 DAP, 1 PKR) MPs in the 222-seat Parliament.

Dr Sim, who told reporters about Adenan’s directive at the DUN complex, said: “We have directed our MP (Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem) to oppose and vote against the Bill.”

He said his party had, since day one, opposed the proposed amendment as it believed the hudud law would divide the nation and was against the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), too.

Saying that 40 per cent of Sarawak’s population were Christians, he said, “SUPP does not agree with having two criminal justice systems as it contradicts the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement. It affects the rights and lifestyles of all Malaysians.”

The Kelantan State Legislative Assembly passed an amendment to the Kelantan’s Syariah Criminal Code 1993 last year, but it could not enforce it due to Act 355. Hadi’s Private Bill aimed to address that shortcoming.

“Once again, PAS has not only shown blatant disregard to the rights and sentiments of all racial and faith groups in our nation but also consistently challenging the spirit of the Federal Constitution for mere political mileage.”

According to a recent article, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Syariah Courts Act (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (ACT355) would be tabled for second reading by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

The first reading was on May 26. It seeks to amend Section 2 to replace the provision of the legislation. This means the Syariah Court will then have power over Muslims in matters of offences listed in item 1 of the State List, under the ninth schedule of the Federal Law.

It also seeks to include Section 2A, which states that in the conduct of criminal law under Section 2A, the Syariah Courts have the right to impose penalties allowed by Syariah laws related to offences listed in the said section, expect for the death penalty.

Meanwhile, Dr Sim, who is also the Minister of Local Government, recalled that in the last general election in 2013, the DAP had told voters that Pakatan Rakyat (DAP, PKR and PAS) would not advance the Hudud Law and called upon voters, including non-Muslims, to support PAS.

“PAS would not be so strong today (without their support). DAP leaders must apologise to the voters for making PAS stronger and helping them to achieve its objective,” he said.

“Someone (in DAP) has to do some explanation to the people. It is not good enough to say that `we are now divorced when your children are already born’.”

- The Borneo Post