PETALING JAYA: The very way that the controversial Shariah bill was tabled is proof of a political conspiracy to get this bill through, says MCA’s Ti Lian Ker.
He was referring to Umno Supreme Council member Jamil Khir Bahrom’s comments quoted by an online news site today that the government would have found it difficult to table this bill on its own as it would have needed 14 states to back it.
And so it was tabled as a private bill by a member of the opposition, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
“You can’t bring it to the Rulers Conference if you don’t have consensus from 14 states, but a private member’s bill requires only one state or one person to table it,” Jamil was quoted saying in Malaysiakini. He is also a Federal Minister.
Focusing on this comment, MCA Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Ti Lian Ker told FMT that Jamil’s statement was evidence of a political conspiracy to circumvent the rights of states and the Conference of Rulers.
“This political conspiracy is a betrayal of the Barisan Nasional spirit of consensus and disrespectful towards the 14 states and the Malay rulers whose views were not sought,” said Ti.
Ti also rubbished a statement by another Umno Supreme Council member, Ahmad Maslan that Barisan Nasional component parties could not object to the proposed amendments once the private member’s bill is taken over by the Federal Government.
Ahmad, in a separate Malaysiakini report said BN component parties were compelled to support the bill as part of the ruling coalition and that prior to this the component parties’ rejection of the bill was because it was tabled by an opposition leader.
However, Ti said any bill would still need to be discussed and agreed upon by BN, whether it was a bill taken over by the government or a bill tabled by it.
“BN is still a party so we can never sideline that spirit of making decisions based on a consensus. Also, our disagreement to the bill is not because it was tabled by Hadi, but if the proposed amendments goes against the spirit of the Federal Constitution,” he said.
Hadi’s bill is the Shariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965. The motion to amend the act is set to be debated during the next Dewan Rakyat session in March next year.
After the first reading is complete, the government will pick it up as a second bill and Jamil, who is the minister in charge of Islamic affairs, will read it as a government bill.