Let Liow, Wee, Ong and Mah declare whether they will resign as Ministers the moment Hadi’s private member’s bill motion is given government priority and come up for debate and vote in Parliament
MCA, Gerakan and MIC Ministers have been making confusing, contradictory and misleading statements on PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill motion to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355).
All the three MCA Ministers - MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Deputy President Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong and MCA Secretary-General Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chua - and the Gerakan President Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong have said that they would resign as Ministers if Hadi’s private member’s bill is passed by Parliament.
This is an empty threat as Hadi’s private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) will never be passed by Parliament, as after Hadi’s private member’s bill motion (which is equivalent to the first reading of the private member’s bill), the UMNO/BN Government will take over Hadi’s Bill.
This has been clearly announced by the UMNO Minister in the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom who said that the Barisan Nasional government will take over Hadi’s bill from there, and it would become a government bill from second reading stage onwards.
As the International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan has said publicly, from that stage, BN component parties will not be able to object to amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) as the bill has been taken over by the Federal Government, and all the BN component parties are compelled to support the bill as part of the ruling coalition.
MCA Deputy President Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong has said that Hadi’s private member’s bill motion could only be tabled and debated on March 27 at the earliest, as Parliament’s debate on the motion of thanks for the Royal Address would take 11 days until Thursday, 23rd March.
Wee and the MCA leaders should stop equivocating on the issue, as the PAS MP for Bukit Gantang Idris Ahmad has admitted that although Hadi’s private member’s bill motion is listed as item number seven on the Order Paper after four government bills, only the government can fast-track debate on Hadi’s private member’s bill motion.
Are the MCA and Gerakan leaders already looking for a face-saving way out of the “impasse” when they threatened to quit as Ministers if Hadi’s private member’s bill is passed by Parliament , as it would not be any Hadi’s bill which would passed by Parliament after it had been taken over by UMNO/BN Federal Government?
The MCA and Gerakan Minister should stop playing with words.
They should make it clear that they are opposed to two things: firstly, any government priority to Hadi’s private member’s bill motion for it to be debated and voted in the present meeting of Parliament which will end on April 6; and secondly, any UMNO/BN Federal government take-over of Hadi’s bill after the passage of Hadi’s private member’s bill motion.
I call on them and all the fifteen non-UMNO Ministers out of the 35-strong Najib Cabinet to submit to Najib their resignation from the Cabinet and their resignation to take effect the moment Hadi’s private member’s bill motion is given government priority and comes up in Parliament for debate and vote.
This is the least that the Ministers from the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and Sabah/Sarawak BN parties can do to show that they are men and women of principle, and not in politics just for position, money and power.
In the 13th General Election, Barisan Nasional won 133 parliamentary seats – UMNO 88 and the other BN parties collectively a total of 45.
If the 15 non-UMNO Ministers resign from Najib Cabinet, and the 45 MPs from the non-UMNO parties in BN withdraw their support from Najib, then the Najib premiership falls precipitating a political and constitutional crisis as the Najib government will have lost the majority support of the 222 MPs in Parliament.
Let us see whether the nation can form a new government committed to support Hadi’s private member’s bill motion – as I believe not all the 88 UMNO MPs are prepared to vote in support of Hadi’s private member’s bill motion.