KUALA LUMPUR: Now that MCA has done its part in preventing the Government from tabling the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act or RUU355, it is time for DAP to walk the talk too, said Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker.
The MCA religious harmony bureau chairman said the party’s role in the decision by Barisan Nasional not to table PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill showed its resilience and resolve in resisting political pressure.
Under Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai’s leadership, he added, the party had consistently argued on the implications and impact of the proposed amendments based on facts and laws even though it involved the sensitive topic of religion.
“MCA has done its part. Now we call on DAP to stand its ground by quitting the Selangor state government or expelling PAS,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
Hadi had tabled the Private Member’s Bill in Parliament on a motion to seek amendments to enhance syariah punishments to a maximum of 30 years' jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 lashes.
Recently, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Putrajaya was committed to tabling RUU355.
But Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the decision to drop the plan after the coalition’s supreme council meeting on Wednesday night.
Ti said MCA had never run away from its responsibility of convincing Barisan component parties, including Umno, to reject Hadi’s Bill as it erred in law, Constitutional safeguards and in politics.
“Despite internal and external pressures, MCA took up the challenge of speaking up for women and ethnic and religious minorities of their concerns over the impact of the proposed amendments,” he said.
This, he added, was unlike DAP which had lobbied for popular votes for PAS in the past few elections but is now attempting to downplay its role in empowering the Islamist party to achieve national stature.
“If DAP is a party of dignity, it must emulate the late Karpal Singh’s consistency or listen to Lim Kit Siang, who had asked MCA and other Barisan leaders to quit the Government if we fail to stop Umno.
“So why is DAP not quitting the Pakatan government in Selangor? Why is DAP continuing its (links) with PAS in Selangor?” he asked.
Ti also trained his guns on Lim Kit Siang and asked if the opposition party’s adviser was playing with fire, compromising DAP and continuing its association with PAS in the Selangor government despite knowing the potential damage that PAS could cause to multiracial harmony.
“It is time for DAP to walk the talk, and not talk and talk with a tongue that is forked,” he added.