MIC chief: PM to meet BN components over Shariah Bill this week


KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will meet Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties over the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) amendment Bill this week, MIC president Datuk Seri S Subramaniam said today.

Dr Subramaniam added that his Indian-centric party, like its Chinese ally MCA, will only state their stand on the matter after the meeting.

"This matter was not informed to us. The PM has said he will meet BN component parties again.

"We will wait for the meeting and we will know what is being suggested," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said the government will take over the amendment to the Bill, known as Act 355, in order to increase the Shariah courts’ punishment caps.

The amendment was previously proposed by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang as a private member's Bill.

MIC and other non-Muslim components of BN had previously voiced their rejection of the Bill, which they said will enable hudud laws to be implemented in the country.

Hudud critics have said the strict Islamic penal code will create separate sets of laws for Muslims and non-Muslims, which is against the constitutional guarantee of equality before the law.