Malaysia Dateline

Lim Kit Siang

Kit Siang ups the ante, offers help to undo BN’s support for Hadi bill

DAP’s Lim Kit Siang continued to put pressure on leaders of MCA and Gerakan to demand an emergency meeting of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition to withdraw support for the tabling of a private member’s bill on hudud in Parliament last week.

The Gelang Patah MP said there was no point making “empty and meaningless threats” to quit the cabinet, saying MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and his Gerakan counterpart Datuk Seri Mak Siew Keong should prove their seriousness by urging BN to repudiate Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Said Othman.

“If Liow and Mah do not know how to requisition for an emergency Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting to repudiate Azalina’s ministerial motion in Parliament and uphold Barisan Nasional consensus of March 2015, I am prepared to show them how,” said Lim in a statement today.

Azalina had fast-tracked the tabling of the bill by Marang MP and PAS president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. Following this, Liow and Mah expressed surprise that they had not been consulted over the move.

Both have since said they would quit their cabinet posts if the bill was passed.

Umno leaders including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak have defended the tabling of the bill while attempting to allay fears of BN allies that it would pave way for hudud laws.

The bill seeks to amend the Shariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, so that the Shariah court is not limited to imposing a maximum sentence of three years’ jail, RM5,000 and six lashes of the cane, which is seen as paving the way for hudud in Kelantan as well as other states wanting to implement Islamic capital punishment.

Lim expressed confidence that Liow and Mah would get support from a majority of the 14 BN component parties “undo Azalina’s unilateral and arbitrary ministerial motion”.

“So why are Liow and Mah impotent, unable to requisition for an emergency meeting of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council?” he asked.

The veteran MP again questioned a claim by Liow that he had been in dark over the move to expedite Hadi’s bill, saying a Sabah BN leader had protested to Najib a day before it was tabled.

“This Sabah Minister and Barisan Nasional leader said his party opposed Azalina’s motion “even if it is for tactical purposes.

“The question is why Liow and Mah, by their inaction, condoned Azalina’s ministerial motion purported for ‘tactical reasons, which is the height of irresponsible politics in plural Malaysia?”