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We May Be Pushed To Leave, Says Kurup

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PETALING JAYA – Sabah and Sarawak may be tempted to go their separate ways if the amendment to the Syariah Courts Act are passed in Parliament, said PBRS president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.

The law, he said, would have a divisive effect on the unity and understanding that was cultivated since the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

“If it (the Bill) is forced into Parliament and passed, I’m afraid it will trigger more feelings among the people of Sabah and Sarawak to go their separate ways. They (Federal Go­­vern­­ment) shouldn’t have the slightest thought of introducing this law,” he said yesterday.

On Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had said the PAS’ Private Member’s Bill was on reforming the caning punishment meted out by the Syariah Court.

Kurup, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said he would abide by his party’s consensus to put their foot down on the matter.

To a question on his Cabinet post, he said: “The instruction from my supreme council is, as far as my position is concerned, and the words they use is, we have to put our foot down. So, I think there is a subtle meaning to that.”

Kurup also made it clear that his party would oppose the Bill in Parliament, adding that they were holding on to the pledge made by Malaysia’s forefathers that it would always remain a secular nation.

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said such laws would never come to Sarawak, adding that PBB, the biggest party in the state, would never support such a Bill. – The Star Online

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