16 June 2016
The admission by the Kelantan Deputy MB that the PAS Shariah Bill is to ‘control the Shariah courts’ in the whole country, and not just Kelantan, should ring warning bells for lawmakers and Malaysians who are concerned about protecting the Federal Constitution.
The Bill seeks to amend the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 in such a way that the Shariah Courts would appear to have unlimited power to impose all other hudud punishments except for the death penalty, as pointed out by the president of the Malaysia Bar, Steven Thiru.
BN minister Nazri Aziz’s explanation for UMNO’s decision to support the Bill, ie due to the increase of religious offences in Kelantan, has been discredited by the Kelantan MB and his deputy, and we await another explanation from other UMNO leaders with bated breath.
On our part, we have stated our stand very clearly, that hudud is not suitable or appropriate in Malaysia, it being unconstitutional and discriminatory. This Bill by PAS, if passed, will surely encourage them to push for hudud law in Malaysia.
I urge all Sarawak MPs to stand firm in voting against the Bill. We must be vigilant in protecting the social contract between the many races of Malaysians that is reflected in the Federal Constitution. The Chief Minister had said that the state government would take all necessary steps to safeguard the state’s rights and interests as one of the founding members of the Federation of Malaysia. I hope all Sarawakian MPs will speak as one voice against the Bill to ensure that the social contract, which our founding fathers agreed, to is upheld for the sake of our country’s unity and harmony.
N 81 Ba’ Kelalan