Stop politi­cis­ing the mat­ter, Noh tells op­po­si­tion, ex-Umno lead­ers

New Straits Times - - News -


KUALA LUMPUR adri­an­lai@nst.com.my

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

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