KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 ― MCA expressed today its delight that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government will not be taking over the tabling of a PAS private member’s Bill seeking harsher penalties for Shariah offences.
Its deputy president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s announcement last night disproved detractors who have been belittling the consensus spirit by which the coalition operates.
“For MCA, this is a good decision by consensus. This is the spirit of BN after taking consideration of views of all the parties,” he told reporters outside the Dewan Rakyat.
Wee also singled out the DAP from the Opposition for attacking MCA and Gerakan over its alleged subservience to Umno in the treatment of the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act, better known by its Malay short form RUU355.
“They were the ones who worked with PAS in the last two general elections. Then the relationship turned sour and they need to find a scapegoat and they conveniently turned MCA and Gerakan as the scapegoat,” he said.
Najib announced last night that the BN will not be tabling the Bill initiated by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to strengthen the Shariah courts punitive powers, contrary to reports quoting Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to turn it into a government Bill.
The RUU355 seeks to raise Shariah sentencing limits to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 strokes.