‘PM ac­cepted state BN’s op­po­si­tion to Act 355’

The Borneo Post - - HOME - By Lian Cheng and Peter Si­bon re­porters@the­bor­neo­post.com

KUCH­ING: The fed­eral govern­ment’s de­ci­sion not to ta­ble a bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Crim­i­nal Ju­ris­dic­tion) Act 1965, or Act 355, has been viewed as proof that Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Tun Razak lis­tened to the state Barisan Na­sional’s ( BN) op­po­si­tion to the bill.

Among the BN com­po­nent par­ties that strongly voiced their op­po­si­tion to Act 355 were Parti Rakyat Sarawak ( PRS) and the Sarawak United Peo­ple’s Party (SUPP).

“He val­ues the mul­tira­cial sen­ti­ments of com­mu­ni­ties in Malaysia and will not cross the ‘red line’, which may de­stroy the spirit upon which Malaysia was founded,” said PRS pres­i­dent Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Je­mut Mas­ing yes­ter­day.

The Deputy Chief Min­is­ter re­it­er­ated that his stance on Act 355 had not wa­vered from ‘day one’.

“My stance was fur­ther en­forced when the PRS Supreme Coun­cil unan­i­mously op­posed the bill,” he said.

Mas­ing said the les­son to be learnt from this episode is that Sarawakians must stand united on is­sues that af­fect them.

SUPP pres­i­dent Sen­a­tor Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian pointed out that a united state BN had played a vi­tal role in in­flu­enc­ing the de­ci­sion.

“With a stronger and united Sarawak BN, we are able to op­pose any is­sue prej­u­di­cial to the in­ter­ests of Sarawak and the na­tion within the BN,” he said.

The Min­is­ter of Lo­cal Govern­ment said the govern­ment’s de­ci­sion not to ta­ble Act 355 was based on gen­eral con­sen­sus within BN, which is in line with the BN’s long es­tab­lished and closely guarded tra­di­tions, prin­ci­ples and prac­tices.

“The BN, be­ing the govern­ment of the day, owes a duty and a re­spon­si­bil­ity to all Malaysians, to en­sure that all races live in peace and har­mony and are free from any con­sti­tu­tional cri­sis or mu­tual dis­trust,” he said.

Dr Sim re­it­er­ated that SUPP had stead­fastly stood by its prin­ci­ples to op­pose the bill right from the be­gin­ning and would re­main against any at­tempt to de­stroy or jeop­ar­dise the na­tion’s peace and sta­bil­ity.

“Fur­ther­more, SUPP is also res­o­lutely de­ter­mined to safe­guard the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion on the prin­ci­ple of fair treat­ment to all races,” he added.

Parti Pe­saka Bu­mi­put­era Ber­satu ( PBB) act­ing deputy pres­i­dent Datuk Amar Dou­glas Ug­gah Em­bas also wel­comed Na­jib’s de­ci­sion.

“He ( Na­jib) has made it very clear that any de­ci­sion taken must be based on con­sen­sus and for the de­ci­sion not to ta­ble the RUU 355 (Act 355) is a re­flec­tion of Na­jib be­ing a leader who has been lis­ten­ing to the voices of var­i­ous par­ties, and it is wel­come news,” said the deputy chief min­is­ter.

PRS Youth chair­man Snow­dan Lawan praised Na­jib for be­ing a gen­uine leader who re­spected

He (Na­jib) has made it very clear that any de­ci­sion taken must be based on con­sen­sus and for the de­ci­sion not to ta­ble the RUU 355 (Act 355) is a re­flec­tion of Na­jib be­ing a leader who has been lis­ten­ing to the voices of var­i­ous par­ties, and it is wel­come news. Datuk Amar Dou­glas Ug­gah Em­bas, Parti Pe­saka Bu­mi­put­era Ber­satu (PBB) act­ing deputy pres­i­dent He val­ues the mul­tira­cial sen­ti­ments of com­mu­ni­ties in Malaysia and will not cross the ‘red line’, which may de­stroy the spirit upon which Malaysia was founded. Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Je­mut Mas­ing, PRS pres­i­dent Unity of the var­i­ous races prac­tis­ing var­i­ous re­li­gions would al­ways be given pri­or­ity. I was also given the man­date to be an elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive of mul­tira­cial con­stituents in Batang Sadong. Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s De­part­ment With a stronger and united Sarawak BN, we are able to op­pose any is­sue prej­u­di­cial to the in­ter­ests of Sarawak and the na­tion within the BN. Sen­a­tor Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, SUPP pres­i­dent This is what we call team spirit. Even though Umno is the big­gest party in the coun­try, its pres­i­dent chose to lis­ten to other BN fam­ily mem­bers, es­pe­cially those from Sabah and Sarawak. I strongly be­lieve, the PM will con­tinue this spirit and put this RUU 355 (Act 355) is­sue to an end by not sup­port­ing or tabling it. Snow­dan Lawan, PRS Youth chair­man It has been said be­fore by the Chief Min­is­ter, Sarawak will never sup­port Act 355 as Sarawakians have equal rights to prac­tise their own re­li­gion, she said. Datuk Fa­timah Ab­dul­lah, PBB deputy women’s chief

and ac­cepted the views of other BN com­po­nent par­ties.

“This is what we call team spirit. Even though Umno is the big­gest party in the coun­try, its pres­i­dent chose to lis­ten to other BN fam­ily mem­bers, es­pe­cially those from Sabah and Sarawak. I strongly be­lieve, the PM will con­tinue this spirit and put this RUU 355 (Act 355) is­sue to an end by not sup­port­ing or tabling it,” said the Balai Rin­gin as­sem­bly­man.

“It is in­deed a wise move as the PM un­der­stands the im­por­tance of pre­serv­ing the har­mony of mul­ti­cul­tural and multi-racial com­mu­ni­ties in this coun­try.”

Snow­dan also thanked Mas­ing, Dr Sim and Abang Jo­hari for their stand against Act 355.

“Not for­get­ting as well NGOs and those from the op­po­si­tion who to­gether re­jected this RUU 355 (Act 355). We all should not vote for this bill – RUU355 (Act 355) – if PAS ( Parti Is­lam Se-Malaysia) is to ta­ble it next time,” he added.

Mean­while, PBB deputy women’s chief Datuk Fa­timah Ab­dul­lah pointed out that Chief Min­is­ter Datuk Amar Abang Jo­hari Tun Openg had made the state’s stand very clear.

“It has been said be­fore by the Chief Min­is­ter, Sarawak will never sup­port Act 355 as Sarawakians have equal rights to prac­tise their own re­li­gion,” she said.

Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s De­part­ment Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, who is Batang Sadong Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, pointed out that racial and re­li­gious unity are of ut­most im­por­tance for the coun­try.

“Unity of the var­i­ous races prac­tis­ing var­i­ous re­li­gions would al­ways be given pri­or­ity. I was also given the man­date to be an elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive of mul­tira­cial con­stituents in Batang Sadong,” she said.

On Tues­day, Na­jib said the govern­ment would not ta­ble a bill to amend Act 355, and the one tabled by PAS pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Ab­dul Hadi Awang in May would re­main a Pri­vate Mem­ber’s Bill.

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