Act 355 has support of PM and DPM, says Jamil Baharom

Jamil Khir Baharom

(The Sun Daily) – The rally in support of PAS’ amendment to Act 355 – aimed at upholding the syariah courts institution – is not without the endorsement of the prime minister and his deputy.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Baharom said the message from Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was delivered to him when the three of them met earlier this morning.

“Before I made my way here, I met with the prime minister and deputy prime minister … and I was given the permission to represent (the Cabinet) to uphold the syariah courts’ institution,” he said.

“Before I left, both of them sent their regards to all of you,” he said in his speech at the Act 355 Rally held in Padang Merbok today.

Jamil also took a swipe at those who had opposed the amendment by making a ruckus and deviating the public on the true intention of the proposal brought by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in the Parliament.

He said the act, which was first enacted in 1965, was amended to increase its punishments in 1984 without facing any problems from members of Parliament.

“At that time (1984), there was a need for an improvement. It was brought into Parliament for amendment and did not face any problems,” he said.

“In fact, even the non-muslims supported it … There was no issue in the Parliament or among the community at that time, but why does the amendment this time require us to gather here tonight?” he added.

In justifying the need to improve the act, Jamil said Muslims in Malaysia had never taken the rights of those from the other religions.

“The Muslims have never taken the rights of the others, so why now we are seeing faces that are uncomfortable to see the rule of syariah from spreading?” he said.