PETALING JAYA: MCA will continue to oppose PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill, saying it is an attempt to disguise the imposition of hudud in the country.
“I reiterate that MCA does not accept the statement that Abdul Hadi’s Private Member’s Bill is merely intended to expand the sentencing authority of the Syariah Court and has nothing to do with the Kelantan hudud enactment,” said the party’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan (pic) in a statement on Thursday.
Ong said MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai had clearly stated MCA’s stance before – that Abdul Hadi’s bill was a back-door tactic to disguise the implementation of PAS’ hudud enactment in the country.
“Our founding fathers built our country in the spirit of the Federal Constitution. The current Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) limits the punishments that the Syariah Court may impose – to not more than a three-year jail sentence, up to six strokes of the rotan, and a fine not exceeding RM5,000 – which makes up the so-called 3-6-5 safeguards,” he said.
Ong also said Article 8(1) provides that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to its equal protection.
“The basic foundation of nation-building for different races and beliefs is based upon national unity and harmony.
“There has to be a fair, equitable, consistent and uniform legislation which caters to enforcement and punishment,” he said.
Ong claimed that if the Act was amended and granted the Syariah Court the jusrisdiction for offences other than the death penalty, then there would be another set of legislation which contradicts the civil courts’ jurisdiction and would in turn violate the spirit of the Federal Constitution.
“Abdul Hadi’s Private Member’s Bill will abolish these 3-6-5 Safeguards,” he said.
Ong reiterated that if the Bill was passed, it would open doors to future legislative amendments that would empower Syariah Courts with jurisdiction over offences beyond the death penalty, administer limb amputation of convicted Muslim criminals, public flogging and many others that were disguised in the implementation of the hudud enactment.