Max Reiterates: PBS Won’t Support Hudud As It Goes Against Constitution

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Ongkili striking the large gong to symbolically launch the 2nd AGM of the Pertubuhan Rungus Bersatu Sabah on Saturday. – Photo credit: Sandra Sokial

KOTA MARUDU: Parti Bersatu Sabah reiterated its stand made a year ago to vote against the implementation of the Hudud Law.

The decision was again made at the party’s Supreme Council Meeting stating that the bill contradicts with the Federal Constitution.

“PBS cannot support the bill as it goes against the Federal Constitution, and we believe it would have far reaching effects on the non-Muslims,” said the acting PBS President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, Saturday.

The Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister said their stand on the issue has been consistent from day one, and in line with the views made by non-Umno Barisan Nasional component parties.

“I am in constant discussion with (Parti) Gerakan, MCA and MIC, as well as other Sabah and Sarawak based parties, and we are common in our stand – not to support the proposed amendment to the Syariah Courts Act (Criminal Jurisdiction Act 1965) (Act 355),” he said after chairing the party’s Supreme Council Meeting on Friday.

The Kota Marudu Member of Parliament added that he would continue to engage the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also the BN Chairman, regarding the matter.

Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had tabled a Private Member’s Bill to seek amendments to Act 355 to enhance the punishment meted out by the Syariah Court.

The bill proposed to increase jail term from the present maximum of three years to 30 years; fine of RM5,000 to RM100,000 and the present maximum six lashes of cane to 100 lashes.

Non-Muslims had come strong to oppose Hadi’s Bill for fear that once passed, it will pave the way for the implementation of hudud in the nation.

Meanwhile, at the meeting, Ongkili also issued instruction to all PBS divisions to set up their respective election machinery, ahead of the general elections.

“PBS must be ready, and it is crucial for us to start early, focusing on our 13 seats, especially the six seats we lost in the last general election.

“We have started moving, beginning with the lost seats, and will be going to Kiulu and Kundasang next,” he said.

In the last couple of months, Ongkili had personally led his team for a meet-the-people session in Inanam, Tamparuli, Kadamaian and Matunggong, as part of the party’s reaching out programme. Two other lost seats are Api-Api and Sri Tanjung.

He explained that the sentiments amongst the grassroots have changed, and is confident in recapturing the lost seats.

At another function on Saturday at the Pertubuhan Rungus Bersatu Sabah (PRBS) second annual general meeting at the Matunggong multipurpose hall Ongkili urged the association leaders and members to invest in cultural education and motivate the community to excel in both technical training and academic skills.