PAS president Hadi Awang was given the green light to table the RUU355 amendment bill in Dewan Rakyat last month but it couldn’t make it to the debate stage. This issue is expected to continue to spark controversies when the Parliament resumes in July.
The RUU355 issue entails the country’s existing system and is poised to have a negative impact on the country’s secular system. Although Hadi Awang’s private bill couldn’t make it to the debate stage in April, the fact that it has been allowed to be tabled in the Parliament is already a huge step forward for the party, whose next step is most definitely to continue pushing the bill through to see to its eventual adoption.
The RUU355 issue is yet to come to a close, and its opponents must never take a break now but must instead work together in unity to affirm their stand in conveying a clear and unwavering message to the government and our politicians.
Some 20 distinguished local leaders from the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak issued an open letter recently to urge Malaysians to stand united in defending the country’s secular status while steadfastly rejecting Hadi’s RUU355 amendment bill. Among the signatories of the letter were past and present political leaders as well as former senior government servants.
They rebutted PAS’ claim that RUU355 would not have any effect on non-Muslims by citing instances in East Malaysia, calling PAS’ claim highly misleading. From the angle of the nation’s and the rakyat’s interests, they drew a clear outline for RUU355 so that Malaysians could get a clearer picture of this whole matter.
Such liberal voices hailing from across the South China Sea are a representation of the diversity and moderation the country badly needs now. It is believed that with their advocacy, more moderate Malaysians will boldly make their voices heard in rejecting Hadi’s bill.
Those supporting the bill are now slamming the opponents as being “anti-Muslims” or “betraying Muslims” in their bid to demonize their opponents. If we allow these people to deliberately dominate our consensus and spread unsubstantiated lies, they may eventually add to the momentum of Hadi Awang in overwhelming the dissident voices.
In view of this, open-minded and moderate Malaysians must stand up and reverse the lies and not to allow them to flood our society and misguide the public.
The RUU355 amendment bill will wield momentous influences on the country’s future, and there is no way the Malaysian Chinese community should take this matter lightly. We must realize that once the bill is adopted by the Parliament, it could lay a foundation for the eventual implementation of hudud law in this country.
We must pool our resources together to jointly defend our Constitution and secularism by outright rejecting PAS’ RUU355 amendment bill.