Government’s change of mind is nothing new

The present government has made a U-turn in respect of an amendment to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355).

Apr 21, 2017

Dear Editor,
The present government has made a U-turn in respect of an amendment to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355). On March 29, Prime Minister Najib announced that the BN led government would not take over a Private Member’s bill (a bill that was engineered by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang), to table at the current Parliament sitting.

This change of mind is nothing new. In the past Administrations, many u-turns had taken place when drafting or implementing policies. There were even cases that can be likened to “shifting the goal post after the game has started.”

This latest change of heart is not a news of jubilation yet. We should stay alert and continuously voice out our strong opposition to this Bill. If it is passed, hudud law will be the next bill on PAS’ mind. Under hudud law, our liberty as individuals will be curtailed.

In effect, just five days later, the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said this at an official public function: “The government’s decision not to take over a private member’s bill to amend act 355 does not mean it rejects the bill and the question of the government rejecting the bill does not arise as Act 355 is a federal law,” as reported by New Straits Times on April 3, 2017.

The concern expressed by Sarawak Ministers Fellowship (SMF) chairman Reverend Daron Tan is not to be ignored (HERALD, April 2, 2017). He should be complimented for taking the initiative to write to all Sarawak MPs to take a stand in Parliament to vote against the bill if it is tabled.

Andrew Kok,
Subang Jaya

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