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Najib Assures Non-Muslims No ‘Dual Punishment’ Under Syariah Amendments

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KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) has promised non-Muslims that the Government would conduct a thorough study on the proposals to empower the Syariah Courts to prevent any “dual punishment” system.

Thus, Najib, also Umno president, urged all parties to stop politicising the issue of the Private Member’s Bill to amend the Act brought by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in Parliament.

“I ask you, please everyone do not politicise this issue because it is a private member’s motion, which will eventually be taken over by the Federal Government.

“To the non-Muslims, worry not, because you will not be subjected to these laws, and the Government is studying the fine prints of the proposed amendments to ensure that there are no elements of dual punishment,” he said in his policy speech at the Umno general assembly here Thursday.

Hadi, who is Marang MP, had tabled a “tweaked version” of his proposals to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 2965, commonly known as Act 355, in Parliament last week.

He, however, deferred tabling of the Bill to the next sitting expected in March next year.

Najib also called for an end to hostilities among Malay Muslims.

“Enough. I urge you, let us unite. In the name of Malay unity and that of the ummah, set aside our disputes and differences. Let us return to the right path,” he said.

He said Muslim unity could begin in Malaysia with the mending of old wounds instead of further stoking the flames of enmity.

Najib recited a poem in an apparent gesture of friendship towards PAS, calling on parties on opposite sides to bury the hatchet.

“To that end, in the name of Muslim unity, I would like to thank our friends from PAS for being mature in their politics and remaining in Parliament to listen to the entire tabling of Budget 2017 and not joining street demonstrations organised by Bersih,” he added.

Najib, who is Prime Minister, was referring to the actions of lawmakers from the Pakatan Harapan opposition bloc, who staged a walkout from the Dewan Rakyat towards the end of the tabling of Budget 2017 on Oct 21.

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