During the UMNO General Assembly 2016, party President Datuk Seri Mohammad Najib urged the society at large not to politicise the issue of Act 355. The Party President who is also the Prime Minister added that the government will be taking over the bill. Najib also reiterated that this Bill has nothing to do with non-Muslims.
When it comes to the law, things are seen from the perspective of punishments. However the true intent of the entire legal system is to deter punishments. Penalties are set high, so as to create fear in people. This fear of being sentenced would eventually prevent the populace from vices.
Would it not be beneficial for a society to have less crimes? Would it not serve the greater purpose of reducing crimes? Is it not for the benefit of all Malaysians? Less felonies would mean less bad people on the streets and more sense of security. Is that not something that we all want to have?
There are many who say that this Bill will affect non-Muslims. In my personal opinion it will affect everyone. Though the impact would be indirect. Less crimes in a society would lead to a drop in demand for such activities. This would translate into a reduction in these ventures overall. Do we not want a society that is safe of the future of our children?
Nevertheless the preference is given to the adverse affects that the amendment might have on society. Why is it that these rumours are ever popular in today’s society? These myths make no sense whatsoever. What makes people think that non-Muslims will be subjected to Syariah Courts? Jurisdiction of the Syariah Courts are limited to Muslims only.
That said, any crime committed by a non-Muslim shall be sentenced by the Civil Courts. In recent developments, there has been a wave of resentment towards the Bill presented by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi of Marang. All of the questions pertaining Act 355 have been answered many times over by both the government and opposition.
The enhancement of punishments under Act 355 is not a political matter but an issue of the Muslim society at large here in Malaysia. The opposition to the Bill does not make sense. The enhancement of penalties are only applicable for criminals. This Act is specific for crimes and not related to other bilateral issues that might exist.
The details on the amendment will proceed once the parliament decides to approve the bill. That is the time when the entirety of the Act can be scrutinised. It is then that representatives can debate and argue to find the best solution and implementation mechanisms.
It would be rather premature to oppose an amendment that is yet to be debated. Why not let the act be debated, and the details can be discussed that time around. Rest assured prevention of crimes is a collective responsibility of all members in a society. During the last amendment in 1984 non-Muslim members of parliament voted in favour, why not now?