Political leaders soften stance on Syariah Bill after Hadi introduces cap on punishments

KUALA LUMPUR: Several political leaders have softened their stance on the Syariah Bill after PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang introduced a cap on punishments in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday.

Following this latest development, they called for a discussion among MPs to scrutinise the bill further.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke said the party had previously criticised the amendments proposed by Abdul Hadi as there were no specifications on punishments to be meted out.

Loke however said that the tweaked amendments presented today was a U-turn by Abdul Hadi and diverted from PAS' earlier position to implement hudud.

"Our stance is that we need to study it's implication, even though it is more specific now. It still needs to be made in accordance to the Federal Constitution," he told reporters at Parliament.

Amanah vice-president Datuk Mujahid Yusof said the party would propose for a meeting between MPs from various political parties to have an in depth discussion on the matter.

"We will invite PAS, PKR, DAP and Umno MPS so they can sit and discuss. If not, it will become a sensitive (matter) and lead to hatred," he said.

Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said it was important for a committee to be set up to ensure the bill does not contravene the Federal Constitution.

The Teluk Intan MP also added that the committee must include representatives from the non-Muslim community.

MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the party remained firm on its stand to oppose the bill proposed by Abdul Hadi.

He reasoned the punishments proposed in the tweaked bill was not in accordance with the Constitution.

"MCA's position is we cannot support the private member's bill. We will only support a government bill. But If it is a government bill, it must be in accordance to the spirit of the Federal Constitution," he said.