The disagreements between Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties over PAS’ proposed amendments to the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, while unpleasant, will not do lasting damage to the ruling coalition.
No matter how bad the situation might seem to the public, the decades-old alliance would not break, said political analyst Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya.
The brickbats they throw at one another, he said, were merely a way for the various parties to hash things out.
“The altercation over PAS’ bill may shake BN, but it will not break it,” he told FMT.
“This is because at the end of the day, BN’s component parties are always going to end up supporting one another.
“Their camaraderie has been proven time and again, especially during political crises.”
He also expressed confidence that Umno would not allow the alliance to break up and would try to make its allies understand why it supported PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill.
This could mean town hall meetings and roadshows to explain to concerned parties that enhancing the shariah courts’ punitive powers would pave the way for hudud were baseless, added Azman.
“If MCA, MIC, Gerakan and PBB continue to oppose the bill, Umno may even drop its plan to push for it to be passed in parliament next year.
“But that will only be if there is great objection to it.”
The government recently revealed its plan to take over Hadi’s Bill once it reaches the expected second reading in the Dewan Rakyat session in March next year.
Hadi’s revised bill seeks to increase the cap on shariah court punishments to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 strokes of the cane.
The punitive powers of the shariah courts are now limited to three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the cane.
Umno supreme council member Bung Moktar Radin agreed with Azman.
He said this was not the first time BN parties were in disagreement.
“Besides, the prime minister (Najib Razak) has promised the authorities will brief them (BN MPs) on the amendments, and that a committee will be formed to discuss the bill,” said Bung, who was attending the 50th anniversary celebration of the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority.
“We have arguments but at the end of the day, whatever decision we make, we make it together.”
Source : Nawar Firdaws @ FMT Online