Malay rights pressure group Perkasa will field candidates in the parliamentary constituencies of Bentong and Teluk Intan which are held by MCA president Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong respectively.
Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali said the move was in response to the two BN chieftains’ opposition to proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355.
“Perkasa members will contest in Bentong and Teluk Intan because both (BN leaders) have made statements that touched on the position of Islam, particularly on Act 355.
“They make all kinds of statements but do not realise that they only won by a slim majorities,” he told Malaysiakini.
The proposed amendment was first tabled by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang through a private members’ bill.
It seeks to increase the punishment cap of RM5,000 fine, three years imprisonment and six strokes of the rotan which the Syariah courts can impose to RM100,000 fine, 30 years imprisonment and 100 strokes of the rotan.
Both Liow and Mah have spoken against the implementation of any law that was deemed “unconstitutional”.
Liow won the Bentong seat with a 379-vote majority in the 2013 general election while Mah won the Teluk Intan seat with a 235-vote majority in the 2014 by-election.
Ibrahim said the two Perkasa candidates will be Malays.
He said MCA and Gerakan, together with DAP, would be better off contesting in constituencies that had large Chinese majorities.
Both Bentong and Teluk Intan are considered racially balanced seat, with almost similar proportion of Malay and Chinese voters.