KUALA LUMPUR – MCA reminded Barisan Nasional (BN) today to address and resolve any differences over RUU355 amicably.

MCA religious harmony bureau chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker said if the people or Umno did not subscribe to consensus decision-making, the nation’s harmony would be at stake.

“Any differences shall be ironed out in the Barisan Nasional’s spirit of consensus building unless the people or Umno no longer subscribe to this spirit of consensus building under the BN practice or convention.

“If that is so… this would spell oncoming disaster for the future harmony of the nation,” he said in a statement.

As of now, Ti said his party would not speculate on RUU355, or PAS’ Bill to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355), before receiving sufficient information on the proposed amendments.

Ti reiterated that MCA’s stand has always been clear and consistent, which was to object any amendments that contradicted the Federal Constitution.

“Taking my personal thoughts further, ideally if there is a criminal act that involves or affects the non-Muslims, the law applicable should be civil law and not Shariah law.

“This is particularly so when Shariah laws of evidence or criminal procedures appears to have discriminated against non-Muslims and women irrespective of faith,” he said.

Without elaborating on details, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reportedly said that the government will take over and table PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s Bill.

Hadi reportedly said that while PAS has no qualms about BN taking over the Bill, the party would like to look at the draft first.

The Bill aims to raise the Shariah courts’ maximum sentencing limits to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 strokes of the cane. The current limits are three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine and six strokes.

– Malay Mail