KUCHING: The Sarawak government has stated its stand on the Private Member’s Bill seeking to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355), to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said their stand was conveyed to Najib after he (Abang Johari) had met up with the Sarawak members of Parliament on the matter.
“I have met with them (Sarawak parliamentarians), we (Sarawak) have our own position and I have communicated it to the prime minister, and he will announce it (Sarawak’s stand).
“This is not a decision by the Sarawak members of Parliament, but it is Sarawak’s position,” he said at a press conference after launching the 1Malaysia Public Servants Housing Project (PPA1M) at Muara Tuang, here, Saturday.
Asked on details of the information conveyed to Najib, Abang Johari said they had actually suggested looking at the matter judiciously for fear of discriminatory penalties.
“This is because Article 8(1) states that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of the law. So, there must be no discriminatory penalties because we are equal,” he said.
On another issue, he also disclosed that the state government is formulating long-term public transport plans including introducing Light Rail Transport (LRT) to connect Kuching, Samarahan and Serian within 30 minutes.
Abang Johari said he had directed experienced officers to draft out plans to overcome congestion due to the urbanisation of Kuching and Samarahan.
He said the officers would come out with the best method to link new towns and suburban areas of Kuching.
“I have directed our officers to advise me on what is the best for connectivity between Serian, Bau, Kuching and Samarahan. If we plan now it will be cheaper as land compensation will be lower at the current price.
“It is my strategic plan for public transport to ferry residents from their housing areas to the city centre in 30 minutes meaning anywhere within the radius of 30 minutes you can go to the city centre, the long-term plan will involve LRT and bus,” he said.