Ti: Have faith in BN consensus process

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PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders have been urged to have faith in the coalition’s tradition of making decisions based on consensus, amidst doubts over the coalition’s stand on PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s bill to enhance shariah court powers.

The MCA’s Ti Lian Ker, speaking to FMT, called for calm, after some BN leaders were reported to be doubtful that a consensus had been achieved as stated by BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor yesterday.

Tengku Adnan had said yesterday there was a consensus, but declined to reveal what the consensus was, in the face of many criticisms by BN politicians about Hadi’s proposed amendments to the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965.

Media reports have quoted some BN leaders including Gerakan Youth deputy chief Andy Yong, MCA Youth chief Chong Sin Woon and SUPP president Dr Sim Kui Hian as saying they were in the dark on the supposed consensus.

Ti, who heads MCA’s Religious Harmony Bureau, said however that just because some leaders had not yet heard of the consensus, it did not mean there was none or that Umno, the BN lynchpin, would make a decision without first seeking a consensus.

“Under the BN concept, we have a tradition of holding back our respective wild horses and allowing rational thinking to prevail over wild political instinct,” Ti said. This tradition ensured moderation, peace and harmony to prevail under the BN umbrella.

“Unfortunately of late people have failed to see that BN had been balancing and walking on the racial and religious tightrope,” he said, adding that over the years, Umno, MCA and other components parties in BN had made compromises.

Ti said that Malaysia was now plagued with too much politicking and that it was time to fall back on political conventions and customary practices.

Otherwise, the nation could be torn apart by gullible political minds who wanted only win or lose outcomes on issues such as secularism, race and religion.

“BN has always taken the moderate path. Thus we must all hold in good stead and good faith in welcoming Tengku Adnan’s undertaking that we have achieved a consensus the BN way in the case of the PAS bill,” he said.

PAS has stressed that Hadi’s bill is aimed at strengthening the shariah courts. Critics, among them several BN component parties, are concerned that the bill would pave the way for the implementation of hudud penalties under shariah law in Malaysia.