By Chew Lip Song
ALL Sarawak and Sabah leaders should oppose and break free from the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition if there’s an attempt to replace Syariah with the Federal Constitution as supreme law, Selangau MP Baru Bian said today.
Responding to Umno president Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi’s statement during the party’s general assembly over the weekend that it would strengthen syariah if it rebounds strongly back into power, Baru said Malaysia is a secular nation and the Federal Constitution is supreme.
“Sarawak and Sabah did not sign up for this. We signed up for a secular Malaysia, as evident in MA63, the Malaysia Act, and the pre-formation documents.
“When we agreed to form Malaysia, it was with the understanding that we remain a nation governed by the rule of law and not by religious laws. Our forefathers placed such high priority and importance on the secularity of our country that it was one of the key findings of the Cobbold Commission that there was to be no official religion for Sarawak,” Baru said in astatement.
He added that any attempts to turn this country into an Islamic state would breach a fundamental term of the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.
The Parti Sarawak Bersatu leader also denied Zahid’s claim that Syariah law is weak in Malaysia as the state governments did not have the power to legislate on criminal matters. The Rukunegara also affirmed the supremacy of the Federal Constitution.
“Therefore, it is misleading for the Umno president to say that there is a need to amend the Federal Constitution to strengthen Syariah law. Is he saying that he plans to change the Federal Constitution to make Syariah law supreme?
“Is he saying that he wants to amend Art 4 and Art 10 of the Federal Constitution? The Borneo States had registered our fear that this would happen,” added Baru, a former Work Minister under the Pakatan Harapan administration.