KUALA LUMPUR: MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai today maintained his stand that he would quit the Cabinet if Pas' Private Member's Bill is passed in Parliament.
“My position is still the same and more importantly, I will still insist the bill should not be presented by (Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul) Hadi Awang," he said at the parliament lobby tonight.
He said the bill presents a blank cheque for Syariah courts to implement hudud punishment throughout the country.
“We view this as a very serious situation. It's against the Federal Constitution, against its spirit, and thus it should not be debated and passed in Parliament,” he said.
Liow, who is also Transport Minister, said there should only be one court system in the country.
“There should not be any duplication or overlapping of powers between the two types of courts,” he said.
Liow however, lauded the effort to set up the select committee to discuss on the issue.
“I cannot say whether I support or not. Let’s wait (and see) what will be tabled later. OK?” he said.
The Private Member's Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 was moved by Hadi on May 26.
The bill seeks to amend the Act, also known as Act 355, to empower Islamic courts to enforce punishment, except for the death penalty, provided in Syariah laws for Islamic offences listed under state jurisdiction in the Federal Constitution.
Syariah court punishments are currently limited to jail terms not exceeding three years, whipping of not more than six strokes, or fines of not more than RM5,000.