Sarawak BN yet to be briefed on Act 355 amendment
Sarawak BN leaders have yet to be briefed on the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355, The Star quoted Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukri as saying.
She said Sarawak leaders maintained their stand in rejecting the amendment bill, which she felt was not suitable for the Borneo state as the majority of its people were non-Muslims.
All the states were to be briefed on the proposed amendment, said the Batang Sadong MP yesterday.
"Although as a legal person I know what it is, I have to stand by my party’s principle which is to wait and see until we are briefed.
"Sarawak’s stand is that if it is hudud, then we will not support it. I have to go along with my leader (Sarawak chief minister and PBB president Adenan Satem)," she said.
“At the moment, they (Umno) don’t really say it is hudud, they just say that it’s to strengthen the syariah law penalties, but our view is that if it is hudud then we won’t support," she said, adding that the reason for their rejection of the amendment was because the existing syariah law was sufficient.
According to her, state governments have the final say on whether or to accept the amendments even if they were approved by the Parliament.
“The states can’t be forced to accept it."
PAS president and Marang MP Abdul Hadi Awang had tabled a motion to amend Act 355 during the Dewan Rakyat sitting in November 2016 and the matter will be debated during the next Dewan Rakyat session in March this year.
Hadi's bill seeks to raise the sentencing limit of the syariah court from a maximum RM3,000 fine, six strokes of the rotan and five-year jail limit to maximum 30 years' jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 strokes of the rotan.
When the motion moves to the second reading stage, it would be taken over and read by Islamic Affairs Minister Jamil Khir Baharom.
Besides Sarawak, BN component parties have also pledged to reject the amendment of Act 355.