Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 30.3.2017.
Will BN flip-flop again on PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill, to amend Syariah Court Powers(RUU355) widely seen as a precursor to hudud, by allowing the Dewan Rakyat Speaker to give priority for RU355 to be tabled during the current Parliamentary sitting? BN can still determine the fate of RUU by allowing RUU355 to come up for debate in Parliament and even be passed. It is not the Speaker but BN that decides.
After all, it is the government of the day that decides the business of Parliament, not the Speaker of Dewan Rakyat. The Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, being nominated by the BN Federal government, will have to go along with the direction of BN.
DAP is concerned that this is another one of BN’s dirty and devious political strategy to allow RUU 355 to be passed, without BN suffering from the negative brickbats from the public, for allowing an unconstitutional measure to be passed by ordinary legislation, when it should be by a constitutional amendment requiring a 2/3 majority of MPs.
BN has a history of flip-flops. Witness the broken promises by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to repeal the Sedition Act. And on hudud, before the 2013 general elections, Najib stated that hudud is not suitable for a multi-racial nation like Malaysia. However Najib refused to assert that position after he started “romancing” PAS from Pakatan Harapan. Instead he indicated BN’s support, culminating in Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announcing that the BN Federal government would adopt RUU 355, which would be tabled in Parliament by Zahid.
And now will there be another replay of the broken promises on RUU355? Only by ensuring that RUU 355 is not given any priority and not put up for debate in Parliament, can Malaysians move on forward as one nation or one people, and put the matter of RUU 355 behind us. DAP moved on decisively when it was clear that Hadi did not want to abide by the then Pakatan Rakyat common manifesto. Hadi had insisted on going on his own to move RUU 355, causing DAP to break ties with him and then PAS left PR.
Can Najib therefore give assurances that government business will be given priority and inform the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat that RUU355 will not be allowed to be put up for debate and voted on in Parliament? Failure to do so will make meaningless Najib’s announcement that BN will not adopt RUU 355 as the government bill, when RUU 355 could still be debated on and approved in Parliament.
DAP’s stand against RUU 355 is based on the substance of the Federal Constitution. RUU 355 is clearly unconstitutional because it strikes at the very heart of Merdeka and the basis of which Malaysia was formed. Furthermore, technically and procedurally, it is also wrong to change the constitutional framework of our Federal Constitution by ordinary bill which requires only a simple majority of MPs present during voting, instead of a constitutional amendment which requires a 2/3 majority of MPs, which means a minimum of 148 MPs.
LIM GUAN ENG