‘LET MUSLIMS SETTLE IT’
Stop politicising the matter, Noh tells opposition, ex-Umno leaders
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SELANGOR Umno liaison committee chief Tan Sri Noh Omar has questioned the fuss made by the opposition and several exUmno leaders over the proposed move to amend Act 355.
He questioned the silence from the opposition camp when Act 355 was amended in the 1980s.
“Why now? It is not new.
“Why didn’t DAP protest when Act 355 was tabled to be amended in the 1980s?
“It is merely politics. Please stop politicising the matter.
“This is an issue related to the Muslims and let the Muslims settle it,” he said after the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry’s monthly assembly yesterday.
Malaysian Islamic Strategic Research Institute (Iksim) had said that the move to amend Act 355, by empowering the syariah courts to mete out tougher penalties, was to uphold the wellbeing of the “ummah”.
Iksim said the proposed amendment should be perceived as a deterrent for Muslims to commit any wrongdoings.
The polemics taken up by certain quarters had given the impression that there were efforts to make sure Muslims would continue to transgress against the values of Islam.
Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) media adviser Tuan Asmawi Tuan Umar was quoted as saying that some Muslims had even belittled the small fine they had to pay for khalwat (close proximity) offence.
Meanwhile, MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the cabinet would achieve a consensus on the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) before they were tabled in Parliament.
He said the Barisan Nasional component parties had not seen the draft bill, adding that all parties needed to scrutinise the contents of the bill.
“Every bill that is to be tabled in Parliament must be discussed in the cabinet.
“There will be agreements and disagreements but we will negotiate because we are a government that practises consensus,” Wee said at the parliament lobby here yesterday.
He said the BN leadership would make a collective decision on the proposed amendments to Act 355, but did not specify whether the issue would be raised during the Cabinet meeting this Friday.
This came after Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Friday hinted that the government would table its own bill to amend Act 355 during the current parliament session.
A private member’s bill to amend the Act was first moved by Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang on May 26 last year.
The bill seeks to empower Islamic courts to enforce punishment, except for the death penalty, as provided in syariah law, for Islamic offences listed under state jurisdiction in the Federal Constitution.
Why now? It is not new. Why didn’t DAP protest when Act 355 was tabled to be amended in the 1980s?
TAN SRI NOH OMAR Selangor Umno liaison committee chief
Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong