Upko Glad BN Will Not Push For RUU 355; Leaders Heard Cries Of People

Najib, centre, chaired the BN supreme council meeting. Tangau is seen at left.

KOTA KINABALU: The decision not to table the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act or RUU 355 is proof just how critical the spirit of consultation and consensus is in the political framework of the multi-ethnic and multi-religious Malaysian society governance.

Upko chief, Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau said as always the Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Wednesday was held in a “true BN atmosphere” manner.

“Importantly, it shows that the tradition and organisational principle of full BN consultation and consensus in decision making as being critical in the governance of a plural society such as ours,” he said.

Speaking before leaving for India as part of the Malaysian delegation on a six-day working visit led by the Prime Minister, Tangau who is Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation said all the views of the component parties have been taken into consideration by the leadership.

“Upko has not budged from our stand against the tabling of the RUU 355 and we are glad that the BN has decided to take up similar stand,” he said.

In fact the respective component parties have been actively listening to the voices of the people and subsequently bring it up to the various consultation fora of the BN especially the Jawatankuasa Pengurusan and the Supreme Council, he added.

“To say that BN is not listening to the voices of the multi-racial rakyat is not true,” said Tangau who attended the meeting at Menara Dato’ Onn here together with Secretary General Datuk Donald Mojuntin.

Najib who is BN chairman announced after the meeting that the Government has decided not to table the Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act or RUU355 in line with the principle of consensus.

“Therefore it will remain a Private Member’s Bill and if it is presented, it will depend on the Speaker’s instructions,” he said.

The Private Member’s Bill was first tabled by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, which seeks to grant syariah courts the power to impose stiffer penalties on all crimes except those with the death sentence.

However, BN component parties including Upko has openly expressed objections and reservations to the move.