Press Statement by the DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bagan, Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on 23.11.2016
MCA, MIC, Gerakan And SUPP Should Withdraw From BN Following BN’s Endorsement Of Hudud-Like Laws Under The PAS Proposed Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) That Will Remove The Present Punishment Cap To Raise The Punishment To 30 Years’ Jail, RM100,000 Fine And 100 Times Of Whipping.
MCA, MIC, Gerakan and SUPP should withdraw from BN following BN’s endorsement of “hudud-like” laws under the PAS proposed Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) that will remove the present punishment cap to raise the punishment to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 times of whipping. The current syariah punishment cap of three years’ imprisonment, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the rotan.
DAP opposes the hudud-like laws because it is contrary to the Federal Constitution. Though we respect the rights of the Muslims to determine their religious affairs, it must be done properly in the context of the Federal Constitution. The proposed increase in punishment will place Act 355 one step or maybe several steps closer to hudud-like laws and for this reason it should be done through a constitutional amendment that requires a two-thirds majority and not through an ordinary legislation.
Whilst we respect the views and wishes of the Muslim community to decide their own religious affairs, we must not forget the concerns of the non-Muslims in wanting to see that the Federal Constitution be upheld. Our Federal Constitution is secular in nature with Islam as the religion of the Federation. Raising the punishment cap so that it can come closer to Hudud provisions would contravene the Federal Constitution in both spirit and substance.
MCA, MIC, Gerakan and SUPP deserve public condemnation for betraying their principles and promises to uphold and defend the Federal Constitution but also for their political expediency to continue to deceive the people by supporting UMNO that is willing to work together with PAS to bypass the Federal Constitution to allow these laws to take effect. DAP wishes to remind MCA, MIC, Gerakan and SUPP that for ACT 355 to be passed, it requires only a simple majority of MPs present and not 112 out of 222 MPs. For a constitutional amendment to be passed, 148 MPs must vote for it.
It is pointless for MCA, MIC, Gerakan and SUPP to continue to be in Barisan Nasional when they have been left in the dark, and completely ignored by UMNO in allowing the first reading of the “Hudud-like” bill by PAS to be tabled for first reading in Parliament tomorrow. Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had stated that the Barisan Nasional Government will allow the Bill to be tabled for first reading again tomorrow and then refer it to the Parliamentary Select Committee.
DAP reiterates that the failure of MCA, MIC, Gerakan and SUPP to leave BN now is seen as a form of tacit approval of the unconstitutional measures adopted by UMNO to support PAS’ move to raise the punishment cap of Islamic laws that moves closer to Hudud-like laws.
LIM GUAN ENG