KUALA LUMPUR – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has confirmed that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) is still in talks with PAS on working together to face the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
Muhyiddin reportedly said PPBM has maintained contact with PAS despite the Islamist party proclaiming that it would not work with any party collaborating with the DAP, and will set a deadline this year on their discussion.
According to local daily Sin Chew Daily, Muhyiddin said PPBM was willing to work with PAS as the latter has not yet declared any partnership with the ruling party Umno and as many PAS leaders have displayed intent to displace BN as the government.
“To fight with Barisan Nasional is not an easy matter, I was on that side for a long time, so I know,” the former Umno deputy president and former BN deputy chairman was quoted saying.
As for PPBM’s relationship with DAP, Muhyiddin said his party’s agreement last month with opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan will be the model for how PPBM and Malay-based opposition cooperates with DAP.
“DAP is one of Pakatan Harapan’s members, therefore PPBM and Dap’s cooperation ties is also carried out through Pakatan Harapan, the cooperation model between both will be carried out based on the agreement signed by PPBM and Pakatan Harapan,” he said.
According to Sin Chew Daily, Muhyiddin said he understood the Chinese community’s interest in PPBM’s stand on the proposed amendment to the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act — which PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has repeatedly pushed for through a private member’s Bill in Parliament.
He said the proposed Bill must ensure that non-Muslims’ interests are not violated and that it does not breach the Federal Constitution.
The paper said Muhyiddin’s position was that he has no objections to the proposed Bill as long as it does not contradict the Federal Constitution and is only intended to increase the limits of the Shariah Courts’ sentencing powers.
“This Bill is now already under study by the government, let us wait for the tabling to comment,” he was quoted saying.
The latest version of Hadi’s Bill proposes to increase the maximum punishments that Shariah courts can impose to 30 years’ imprisonment, RM100,000 fine and 100 lashes of the cane, to replace the current caps of three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine and whipping of six strokes.
Last December, minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the federal government will take over the tabling of the proposed amendment, by picking up Hadi’s Bill if it is passed in Parliament as a motion and presenting it as a government’s Bill.
Muhyiddin’s remarks were published today based on his interview with Sin Chew Daily and several other Chinese-language media.
– Malay Mail