PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional component parties have no right to comment on the PAS Bill to amend the Syariah Courts Act as it only concerns Muslims, said the veterans of Umno.
Congratulating PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang on the move, Umno Veterans Club secretary Datuk Mustapha Yaakub said non-Muslim leaders in Barisan should not be too quick to jump to conclusions.
Mustapha was commenting on the motion to amend the existing Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 355 proposed by Hadi.
“They should instead understand the content and the definition of the Bill before making comments. Besides, they (non-muslim leaders) have no right to have a say because the Bill is only meant for Muslims.
“Even if it is enforced, it is strictly for Muslims only,” Mustapha said in a statement, stating that the party veterans were disappointed with MCA for “deliberately” associating Umno with the Bill.
He said it was an obligation for Muslim Members of Parliament to support the Bill as it would empower the Syariah Courts to be on par with the civil courts.
“They shouldn’t politicise this issue just to win support from the Chinese, who are mostly not Muslims.
“Instead, they should explain the Bill to them,” Mustapha said.
On Thursday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said moved a motion to push Hadi’s Private Member’s Bill up the Standing Order’s list.
The Bill was earlier listed as No. 15, or the last item on the Standing Order.
The Bill seeks to amend Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) 2016 to allow the Kelantan PAS state government to impose hudud punishments for crimes, except death sentences.
However, Hadi requested that the Bill only be debated at the next Parliament meeting in October.
Earlier, MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said he would resign from the Cabinet if the proposed Bill was passed in Parliament.
Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong also voiced his intention to relinquish his post in the Cabinet should the Bill get the required number of votes.