PETALING JAYA: DAP must openly state its stand – once and for all – regarding PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill, said MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
“Does DAP object to Hadi’s Bill, and what does DAP intend to do about this other than whining and howling at the moon?” he asked in a press statement yesterday.
Part of the statement also rebutted a Facebook post by DAP MP Tony Pua yesterday which denied that DAP had remained silent in the Dewan Rakyat recently over the Bill.
Pua said both DAP MPs Lim Kit Siang and Gobind Singh Deo had protested against PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s tabling of the motion.
In hitting back at Pua’s “hysterical outburst on his Facebook page”, Dr Wee said that on Thursday inside the Dewan Rakyat, Kit Siang and Gobind did ask the Speaker whether any discussion of the Bill would be considered sub judice, but pointed out that the DAP MPs remained silent after the Speaker had allowed it to proceed.
“After the ruling was made by the Speaker, DAP did not do anything else. Does this mean that DAP had given up on its rights to speak up?
“I would like to remind Tony Pua that showboating after the fact and after Parliamentary session has ended does not amount to an objection!” said Dr Wee yesterday.
He also criticised Kit Siang and Guan Eng for not being in the Dewan during the afternoon session, which robbed them of the chance to present DAP’s stance on the matter.
“Can Tony Pua as a commentator after the fact explain why both Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng disappeared and seek their response accordingly?” he said.
Taking a swipe at Guan Eng and Pua, Dr Wee added that MPs should remain in the Dewan to address parliamentary issues instead of posting Facebook Live videos at the Parliament’s corridors.
Dr Wee also rubbished Pua’s claims that the tabling of the Bill was approved by the Barisan Nasional-led Cabinet.
“I have said many times that it was the Speaker’s prerogative to allow Hadi to table and explain his Private Member’s Bill. Tony Pua should educate himself by reading and understanding the Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat where it is the absolute right of the Speaker to decide on whether or not a motion can be tabled.
“Tony Pua may not like this and can continue to whine about this but those are the rules and any responsible Member of Parliament is expected to understand and abide by it,” he said.
Dr Wee reminded Pua that Pakatan Harapan chief secretary Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah was reported to have said that Pakatan Harapan does not object to the Bill.
“What is the position of each of DAP’s coalition partners on this issue? Are they objecting to this or not? What is Pakatan Harapan’s position on this?
“Do you have a consensus structure within Pakatan Harapan? If not, will DAP be outvoted within Pakatan Harapan?” he questioned.
Hadi’s Bill seeks to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 and raise the punishment cap in the Syariah courts to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine, and 100 lashes from up to three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine and six lashes.