Celebrating non-extremist non-Muslims: PAS gives thumbs up to Gerakan for no longer opposing RUU355

AS the intensity of the six state polls slated for Aug 12 picks up, bitter bygones can be forgotten so long as one is willing to compromise to accommodate one’s allies.

Such is how Gerakan’s softening of its hardcore stance on the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (RUU355) issue has won the hearts of its PAS ally in Perikatan Nasional (PN) which sang praises of the former as “the ultimate difference between Gerakan and DAP”.

“We celebrate non-Muslims who are not extreme and reject those who are extreme,” Selangor PAS Youth information chief Abdul Basith Abdul Halim gave a shout out to the only non-Muslim PN coalition member.

“Gerakan originally also protested (against RUU355) but after it was clear to them that non-Muslims were not affected by RUU355, they have decided to support amendments to the bill.”

Abdul Basith went on to cite Gerakan’s secretary-general Mak Kah Keong who recently contended that “Gerakan has no longer reason to oppose as the (court’s) answer is clear and concise that non-Muslims have nothing to do with RUU355”.

Mah Kah Keong

For context, Gerakan which has referred to the matter to the court now respects the court’s decision pertaining to a few sensitive matters that the party brought up, including the issue of introducing Jawi writing in Chinese and Indian schools and validity of the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment II 1993 (Amendment 2015).

PAS president Tan Sri Hadi Awang had on Nov 24, 2016 has mooted an amendment to the Syariah Courts Act 1965 (Act 355) to enable Kelantan to implement amendments to its state enactment with regard to imposition of hudud punishment on Muslim offenders for crimes such as alcohol consumption adultery.

“Unlike Gerakan, DAP opposes outright RUU355. (Former party chairman) Lim Kit Siang (now Tan Sri) led the protest in the Dewan Rakyat,” lamented Abdul Basith in HarakahDaily. “They loudly rejected the desire of Muslims in this country to dignify Syariah courts through RUU355.”

He added: “Despite having been given an explanation, (current DSAP chairman) Lim Guan Eng claimed that people were still not convinced by (PAS vice-president) Ustaz Idris Ahmad’s assurance in Parliament that the religious freedom rights of non-Muslims would not be affected by the proposed RUU355 and the Control Bill.” – July 13, 2023

Main pic credit: HarakahDaily

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