It is also revealed that DAP’s Muslim lawmakers are allowed to vote for the shariah amendments according to their conscience

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP today defended its methods in objecting the PAS-sponsored amendments to empower the shariah courts.

The party’s national organising secretary Anthony Loke said DAP preferred to use prudent arguments to show their objections instead of creating a wave of Islamaphobia.

Loke then slammed BN component parties MCA and Gerakan for doing just that in their objections to the proposed amendments to the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, or Act 355.

He said the loud objections raised by the two BN parties only created negative perception among the non-Muslims in regards to the law.

“The difference between DAP and MCA or Gerakan is that even though we disagree with the implementation of hudud law, we use prudent arguments against it and never desecrate the law in an attempt to frighten non-Muslims.

“MCA and Gerakan on the other hand create a negative perception surrounding the law and create a feeling of Islamaphobia among non-Muslims.

“But it is DAP that is constantly attacked by Umno and PAS, and labelled as being anti-Islam,” said the Seremban lawmaker.

Speaking at a press conference in the media room in parliament, Loke also responded to calls made by Gerakan secretary-general Liang Teck Meng for the DAP man to apologise for supporting hudud in the run-up to the last general election when DAP and PAS were still allies.

In his defence, Loke said he has already denied supporting hudud law and that DAP’s stand remained the same.

He said such law was unfit in the country and was not in line with the federal constitution.

“I said if you don’t steal, then you don’t have to be afraid. ‘Don’t have to be afraid’ doesn’t mean we are supporting hudud.

“MCA and Gerakan propagandists are purposely twisting the context of my speech by spreading only a fraction of my speech,” he said.

Also present at the conference was DAP’s Raub MP Mohamad Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz who said that he personally would not be voting for the shariah bill despite being given the opportunity to do by his party.

He said the party’s Muslim lawmakers will be allowed to vote for the bill mooted by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang according to their conscience.

“DAP has told us that it’s a vote of conscience, it is up to us to vote how.

“But I will be voting against the RUU355 as the version suggested by PAS is wrong,” he said.