Tuesday, August 9

Masing: BN will crack if Umno tables Act 355 amendment


KUCHING: The insistence of Umno to table PAS initiated amendment to Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 in Parliament could cause cracks in the BN coalition, warned PRS president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing.

He said as a component party, PRS will stand firm on its view to reject the bill even if the government tables something similar or exactly the same with the motion on Act 355 proposed by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

“Our view has remained unchanged. But we want to remind Umno that PRS as a non-Muslim party would like to ask Umno: Who would you prefer, your non-Muslim political parties in the BN or the hudud law?

“We have to safeguard the country’s supreme law which is the Federal Constitution. It has worked all these while, why the need to amend it? Why should you change a machine that has been running smoothly for the last 53 years?” Masing said when relating his party’s stand to The Borneo Post yesterday.

PRS which has six members of parliament and SUPP have been standing firm on the issue and insisted that they would vote against it.

“We are partners in the coalition so I do hope that Umno will not bulldoze its way which is not healthy for the BN,” said the Deputy Chief Minister.

Masing was echoing MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai’s statement recently that his party would vote against the bill.

In a recent interview with Sin Chew Daily, the Transport Minister warned that if Umno disregarded the dissenting voices from the component parties, it would be the culprit for breaking the BN spirit.

“The party which pushes for the unconstitutional bill and even votes for it will be the culprit. It is Umno that would go against the BN spirit, not MCA. Would BN continue to exist without its spirit intact?” he asked.

According to Masing and Liow, Hadi’s motion would open the floodgates to the implementation of hudud in all the states.

They reiterated that the two legal systems would split the people in the country.

The government had said it will take over Hadi’s bill and make it a government bill after it is tabled in the next Parliament sitting in March.