KUCHING – Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg should reassure Sarawakians that the state government will continue to oppose any amendment to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said today.

He said former chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem had made it clear that the state will not support any Bill that will open the door to the implementation of hudud in the country, and had even instructed all its Barisan Nasional (BN) federal lawmakers to vote against the proposed amendment to the law, also known as Act 355, last November.

“Now that Tan Sri Adenan Satem is no longer with us, it would be reassuring for Sarawakians if Abang Johari could make a public affirmation on the state Barisan Nasional’s stand on hudud,” Baru told reporters here.

“The current chief minister, when he was a deputy chief minister, had also made it clear that he supported Adenan’s stand on the issue,” he said.

The Ba’Kelalan state assemblyman noted that an unequivocal stand was need as the Bill may be tabled for debate in Parliament when it reconvenes next month.

“We require all our Sarawak parliamentarians and state representatives to stand as one on the hudud issue.

“The stand taken by our federal lawmakers will be a litmus test of their sincerity in protecting our rights, which in this case, will have a wider impact on the country,” he said, adding that defending Sarawak’s rights on this fundamental issue is also to ultimately ensure the integrity of Malaysia as secular state.

On Sarawak PKR’s stand, Baru said it has been consistent in opposing Act 355 in whatever manner, modified or amended, as it believes that the implementation of hudud law in Malaysia is against the Federal Constitution.

“I have made several statements last year on our reasons for opposing hudud law, including the fact that it would create two criminal systems in this country and of crucial importance is the fact that Sarawak only agreed to the formation of a secular Malaysia,” he said.

Baru said Sarawak PKR’s stand will remain even if the party at the federal level decides to support Act 355.

– Malya Mail