PETALING JAYA: Foreign investment and tourism will be negatively impacted by amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (RUU355), said MCA publicity bureau deputy chairman Lau Chin Kok.
“Excessive religious conservatism will cause a nation’s development to move backwards as neither foreign investor nor tourist will want to invest in or travel to such countries (with religious extremism),” he said in a statement Thursday.
The implementation of the proposed RUU355 will also lead the Kelantan state and eventually the country towards religious extremism, added Lau.
As an example, he cited a recent ruling by the PAS Kelantan state government requiring all pasar malam traders, including non-Muslim ones, to suspend their business operations during maghrib prayers so that Muslims can fulfil their religious obligations.
“This shows that no one will escape the restrictions imposed by Kelantan’s hudud enactments once implemented full scale,” he said, calling the assurance given by Negri Sembilan DAP chairman Anthony Loke Siew Fook that there is “no need to fear hudud if one does not steal or rob” a “blatant lie”.
“Such statements are uttered clearly to dupe the public,” he added.
Lau said that unlike DAP, MCA will not compromise on the proposed Bill.
He added that the Negri Sembilan government has also stated that it will not implement the amendments in the proposed Bill.
“On the contrary, Pakatan Harapan’s position on RUU355 meanders in ambiguity.
“PPBM, PKR and Amanah have not opposed RUU355, while DAP continues to cater to Chinese voters by putting in good words for Pakatan Harapan in front of the Chinese community,” he added.
Under the proposed amendments, punishment for syariah offences will be increased to a maximum of 30 years in jail, 100 lashes and RM100,000 fine, from the current three years, six lashes and RM5,000.