Published on: Monday, June 16, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) fears that the Hudud law, if implemented in Malaysia, will affect all citizens and not just the Muslims.
Its President Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee cited gambling and drinking which are outlawed in Kelantan, but the law applied not just to the Muslims but everyone in that State.
"So if Hudud is implemented in Malaysia, it will also affect all people," he said at the joint annual general meeting of the SAPP KK/Penampang zones at the Hakka Hall in Tanjung Lipat, here, Sunday.
According to him, PAS did not lie about Hudud because it said that it was going to implement the Hudud law.
"But the one that lied was DAP when they say a two-third majority in Parliament is needed for Hudud to be implemented," said Yong.
He added that a PAS lawyer confirmed to him at the 2012 public forum on Hudud law that in order to implement Hudud, the Penal Code could be implemented to incorporate Hudud provisions, and for this to be done it only needed a simple majority in the Parliament.
"The amendment to the Penal Code would not distinguish the penalties between Muslims and non-Muslims," he said, adding it should not be "a Muslim has had cut-off but his Chinese accomplice is only fined say RM200."
"This is not in accordance with the principle of equality before the law.
The Penal Code applies to all irrespective of religion as under the constitution, all persons are equal before the law," he said.
Administration of justice is not perfect as witnesses can make mistakes so does law officers, he said, adding that the judges too can make mistakes (that's why judgements can be overturned).
"So the Penang Teo Cheng Cheng (whose corpse was taken away on suspicion that she was a Muslim) was later judged to be a non-Muslim and so her corpse was returned to her family for another funeral.
"The Bible can be returned to the Society. The Selangor Hindu bride can have her belated wedding. But how do you return or reattach a hand that has been chopped off?" he asked.
Yong said he was speaking not on religion but on national laws and criminal laws.
On the issue of SAPP not able to win a single seat in last year's general election raised earlier by several SAPP CLC chiefs, he said although SAPP lost, it won in terms of raising issues that affected the people in the State.
He said SAPP's strong call for autonomy had forced Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during his campaign trail in Keningau to acknowledge that there is autonomy in Sabah.
This, according to him, was the first time that a Prime Minister of Malaysia had done so.
SAPP's chances were also affected by the political situation where the people, especially the Chinese, would just vote for Pakatan.
"When the Chinese voters do not vote for the Chinese BN candidate and local party Chinese candidate, then it created problem," he said, citing Tanjung Aru where SAPP fielded a Chinese candidate, Datuk Richard Yong, against BN candidate, Datuk Edward Yong, also a Chinese.
The Chinese votes in Tanjung Aru actually went to Pakatan candidate from PAS, resulting in BN winning the seat, he said.
Yong said it could be seen that both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat were fighting among themselves now not because of the people but personal issues.
In this respect, he said SAPP would be emulating the saying that "we just watch the fire on the other side."
"We in the SAPP just remain steady and maintain our path," he said.
This year, SAPP would be holding its party congress and election in August where all the supreme council as well as top posts are up for grabs.
Several SAPP CLC chiefs, namely Chong Pit Fah (Kepayan), Datuk Richard Yong (Tanjung Aru) and Moyog said they resolved that Yong should continue to lead SAPP as President because his leadership was still very much needed.
Declaring open the joint meeting, Adviser Datuk Md Noor Mansoor was glad to see that SAPP remained solid and there was no sign of split among its leadership.
He also urged SAPP to move towards forging cooperation with all local opposition parties in preparation for the 14th General Election.