The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) said they will reject a PAS Bill to enhance Shariah punishments as it was unconstitutional.
Borneo Post Online reported SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian as saying that its sole parliamentarian, Datuk Seri Richard Riot, has been instructed to vote against PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s Bill to amend Act 355, while PBS reportedly made its stand again at a supreme council meeting yesterday.
“Our position is unchanged. It shows the importance of having a strong BN Sarawak, in line with the instruction made by the late chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem last year for all Sarawak BN MPs to vote against Act 355 if it comes to voting in the Parliament,” Dr Sim was quoted as saying.
PBS president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, meanwhile, reportedly said that his party’s decision to reject the Bill was final.
“PBS cannot support the Bill as it goes against the Federal Constitution, and we believe it would have far reaching effects on the non-Muslims,” the Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister was quoted as saying.
PBS has four MPs, including Maximus.
Hadi’s Bill, which seeks to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355), aims to increase the punishments that Shariah courts can mete out from three years’ jail, six strokes of the cane and an RM5,000 fine to 30 years’ imprisonment, 100 strokes, and an RM100,000 fine.
The Bill has met with strong criticism by various groups, including other Barisan Nasional (BN)
On February 18, PAS had organised a rally at Padang Merbok here together with other Muslim groups to attract support for the Bill.
The Bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament next month.
Source : @ Malay Mail Online