Liow: MCA firmly against Hadi’s Bill

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said MCA re­mained firm in op­pos­ing Datuk Seri Ab­dul Hadi Awang’s pro­posed amend­ments to the Syariah Courts (Crim­i­nal Juris­dic­tion) Act 1965, amidst con­flict­ing re­ports on the party’s stand.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, the MCA pres­i­dent said while it op­posed the pro­posed changes brought by the PAS pres­i­dent in his pri­vate mem­ber’s bill, the party was not against any “Is­lam­ic­type en­act­ment”.

“I think it is proper and cor­rect that I ad­dress what ap­pears to be con­trast­ing re­ports on MCA’s stand re­gard­ing the Syariah Courts (Crim­i­nal Juris­dic­tion) Act 1965 amend­ments or com­monly re­ferred to as Hadi’s Bill.

“MCA re­mains firmly op­posed to any bill which it be­lieves runs counter to the spirit and let­ter of our Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion. As Hadi’s Bill now stands, we re­gard it to be in such a po­si­tion,” he said.

“Our op­po­si­tion has noth­ing to do with the fact that it is deemed an ‘Is­lamic’ bill. We deny cat­e­gor­i­cally that we op­pose Is­lamic-type enactments. It has never been on our agenda.

“The Syariah Courts Act 355 has been in ex­is­tence for 51 years and MCA has never once touched on this en­act­ment in any form or man­ner,” he said.

On Thurs­day, Liow said Hadi’s Bill did not con­form to the Con­sti­tu­tion.

He had re­port­edly said MCA will not vote for Hadi’s pro­posed amend­ments.

“If the govern­ment moves a sim­i­lar bill, they will do it based on the spirit of the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion, and so I will vote for it.

“But as to the Pri­vate Mem­ber’s Bill, MCA has stated its stand clearly, which is to vote against it,” he had told the press at the Par­lia­ment lobby.

Hadi’s mo­tion, which was first tabled in the De­wan Rakyat on May 26, seeks to em­power syariah courts to mete out higher pun­ish­ments.

How­ever, due to strong op­po­si­tion from both sides of the po­lit­i­cal di­vide, Hadi had re­quested to de­fer his mo­tion. – by Karen Arukesamy

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