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PM to meet BN parties this week on shariah bill

MIC will wait for the briefing before making a stand on changes to enhance powers of shariah courts.


KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Razak will meet BN component parties sometime this week to brief them on the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (also known as Act 355).

MIC president Dr S Subramaniam said the party was waiting for this briefing.

“We will wait for the meeting. After that, we will know what has been suggested and our stand on the matter.”

He claimed MIC was not aware of the government’s move to adopt and table the shariah bill, first proposed by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

“The matter was not informed to us. Two weeks ago, PM met us and we have forwarded MIC’s views on the matter.”

He said Najib seemed to understand MIC’s stand.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said over the weekend that the government would table the shariah bill meant to enhance the powers of shariah courts.

Zahid was also reported to have said that the government was willing to lose a few friends while gaining new allies on its stand.

Subramaniam told reporters not to interpret the statement as a crack in the BN.

He clarified that Zahid was referring to former prime minister and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad instead.

“I think what was meant by DPM was that previously some Umno leaders are no longer in Umno today.

“That does not mean the relationship with BN component parties will decline. Don’t give a different interpretation.”

The health minister said he had confidence that the prime minister and the deputy prime minister would ensure the present relationship remains solid and becomes even stronger.

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