PETALING JAYA: Groups continue to speak out against the Private Member’s Bill proposed by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to enhance the power of the Syariah courts in regard to hudud laws.
MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said the party had been consistent in its stand to oppose the implementation of any hudud enactments in the country.
“MCA strongly opposes the action of bypassing the Barisan Nasional administration to enable the tabling of the Bill, whether it is the earlier motion by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said to fast-track the Bill, or the second reading of the Bill in Parliament claimed to be agreed to by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom,” he said in a statement yesterday.
During the last Parliament meeting in May, most lawmakers were caught unawares when Abdul Hadi’s controversial Bill was fast-tracked for debate.
The Bill seeks to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) 2016 to allow the Kelantan PAS state government to impose hudud punishments – except the death sentence – for criminal offences.
However, Abdul Hadi said the Bill would only be debated in the next Parliament meeting in October.
Ong called on all Barisan component parties to abide by the coalition’s equal negotiation and consensus-seeking spirit.
“The people and organisations across the nation ought to stand on the same side as MCA in opposing the implementation of any hudud enactment in the country,” he said.
Ong also noted that the Federal Constitution guarantees the harmony and status of all races and religions.
“Therefore all Malaysians have the responsibility to protect this foundation regardless of race, religion or political divides,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism vice-president Jagir Singh said PAS should withdraw the Private Member’s Bill as its introduction would create a dual criminal justice system and go against certain provisions of the Constitution.
He also urged that a referendum be called if there is any plan to introduce the hudud laws.
“Since Islam comes under the state, the Conference of Rulers and the respective religious bodies in each state must be consulted before any move can be taken,” he said.
He added that any debate on the matter should be guided by the provisions and articles of the Federal Constitution and not just based on religion.