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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hadi's re-tabling of Hudud Bill a blatant disrespect of Sabahans and Sarawakians' religious rights

KOTA KINABALU - PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s insistence on re-tabling a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament to enhance the Shariah courts’ powers is a sign of disrespect of the multiracial and multi-religious society in Malaysia, as well as a blatant disregard for the religious rights of Sabahans and Sarawakians.

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) deputy secretary general Datuk Ho Jia Lit said the party has never questioned the status of Islam as the official religion of Malaysia as stated in Article 3 (1) of the Federal Constitution.

“The same Article also states that other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation (of Malaysia).”

He pointed out that Hadi has not taken into consideration the non-Muslims in East Malaysia in seeking to re-table the Bill.

“Likewise, the leaders of Sabah PAS have failed to convey the views of non-Muslims to their central leadership in West Malaysia on this issue.

“This shows that peninsular-based opposition parties are indifferent to the views of East Malaysians when they formulate plans and policies. They are completely ignoring the fact that Sabah and Sarawak have a large population of non-Muslims.”

Ho said LDP strongly rejected the tabling of the Bill for fear that it would violate the Federal Constitution and affect the religious rights of non-Muslims in East Malaysia.

“Sabah and Sarawak will be inevitably affected once the Bill is passed in Parliament,” he said in a press statement yesterday.

Ho said, PAS frequently misled the people by saying that the Hudud laws would only be imposed on Muslims, but in reality, non-Muslims would not be spared when the Islamic penal code is enforced.

For instance, a watch retailer in Kota Baru, Kelantan was fined recently for displaying posters deemed ‘too sexy’.

“The proprietor of the shop is a non-Muslim and yet he was punished under Hudud laws.”

Ho said Hadi should listen to the views of non-Muslims, especially in East Malaysia, prior to tabling the Bill, adding that he should not abuse the parliamentary procedure for his self-interest.

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