Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) federal lawmakers will vote against a Bill to enhance Shariah punishments as it will affect the Federal Constitution, said its president Tan Sri Dr James Masing said today.
“In whatever form it will be, either to enhance penalties or otherwise, it will not be accepted and our party’s members of parliament will vote against it during voting time in Parliament later,” he told reporters after chairing the party’s supreme council meeting here.
“We have made our stand very clear that PRS will not support any hudud law as it touches on the Federal Constitution that we have agreed to in 1963 based on the Malaysia Agreement,” he said, adding that Malaysia must remain a secular state as agreed to by the founding fathers.
PRS has six members of parliament, out of 31 from Sarawak.
Masing, who is also deputy chief minister, also said there is no change to the state Barisan Nasional’s rejection of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965.
“In our private discussions with the chief minister, he had said in no certain terms that the Sarawak Barisan would not support Hadi’s Bill or any other Bills that promote hudud law,” he said, adding that the discussion was attended by two other DCMs, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg, and Local Government Minister and SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.
Masing said the chief minister had also told Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that the state Barisan Nasional would not vote for Hadi’s Bill.
Adenan met briefly with Ahmad Zahid at the state assembly building last Thursday, during which the latter said he explained that Hadi’s Bill was not hudud.
Asked to explain Adenan’s statement that he would “wait and see” whether to support Hadi’s Bill until after a parliamentary select committee had studied the clauses of the Bill and then made recommendations to the federal government, Masing declared that it was “a political answer.”
“But I can tell you that the chief minister will not support Hadi’s Bill,” he said.
Source : The Malay Mail Online