Thursday, February 16, 2017

KUCHING: Adenan Satem’s successor, Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg, has reaffirmed the state government’s stand against hudud.

Abang Johari said he would repeat Adenan’s directive to the BN MPs in the state to reject the bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355.

Adenan was staunchly opposed to the bill and had instructed Sarawak’s 25 BN MPs to do the same just before he died of heart failure.

“That is the stand of Tok Nan before and we will follow that stand.

“There will be no hudud law in Sarawak,” said Abang Johari after chairing a state cabinet meeting today.

He said the bill would cause the state’s peaceful multi-ethnic and multi-faith society to be undermined and it conflicted with the terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963, which declared Sarawak to be a secular state.

The opposition had called on Abang Johari, who was sworn in on Jan 13, to “make a clear and unequivocal” stand on hudud.

On Tuesday, Sarawak PKR leader Baru Bian said opposition to the bill would “ultimately ensure the integrity of Malaysia as a secular state”.

Last May, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang moved a private member’s bill to amend Act 355 to enhance the punitive powers of the shariah courts.

At the Umno general assembly last December, Prime Minister Najib Razak said the federal government would eventually take over the bill from PAS.

Hadi’s bill seeks to raise the maximum penalties for shariah offences to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 strokes of the rotan.

Currently, the shariah courts may impose sentences not exceeding three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the rotan.

~ Free Malaysia Today

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