‘BILL LISTED AS 7th ITEM IN PARLIAMENT’S ORDER PAPER’
Document made available to MPs this week, say sources
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s contentious hududlinked private member’s bill has been slotted in the Parliament’s Order Paper and listed at No. 7.
This was according to a copy of the Parliament’s Order Paper, which was sighted by the New
Straits Times yesterday. However, the Order Paper was not available on Dewan Rakyat’s official website.
According to sources who shared the Order Paper with the NST, the document was made available to members of parliament sometime this week.
In the paper, it was stated that Hadi, who is Marang member of parliament, would propose a motion to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355).
“This House gives its permission according to the Standing Order 49 (1) to the MP for Marang to propose a private member’s bill, named as Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) 2016,” the Order Paper read.
It was stated that Section 2 of the act would be replaced with: “The Syariah Courts will have the power over Muslims and matters related to offences listed Item 1, the list of states under the ninth schedule of federal law.”
A subsection would also be inserted under Section 2, which stated: “In exercising the criminal law under Section 2, Syariah Courts are entitled to impose sentences as allowed by Syariah law in relation to offences listed under the section mentioned above, other than the death penalty.”
When contacted by NST, parliamentarians said they looked forward to debating the motion, whether or not it would go through for a second reading.
Pas ulama chief Datuk Mahfodz Mohamed expressed confidence that the bill would be passed for its second reading despite facing opposition from many lawmakers.
“Of course, it will be tabled this month. I hope it will get the Dewan Rakyat’s approval. We have 222 MPs and there are many Muslim MPs.
“We know many will oppose it but we are hoping for a simple majority,” he said yesterday.
PKR’s Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh said Pas should use the opportunity to go “all out” in debating the motion to ensure that it would not be deferred again.
“I hope they will pull through this time because it has been deferred twice and its been almost a year. If it continues this way, it (the bill) will be open to more manipulation and misinterpretation.
“As PKR have stated before, we are looking forward to debating it,” she said.
Parti Amanah Negara’s (PAN) Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said Hadi needed to clarify why he felt the bill would empower the Syariah Courts.
“There are other ways to empower the Syariah Courts. For example, we can increase the credibility of the courts’ officers.
“I want to hear his (Hadi) clarification on this,” he said.
DAP’s Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh, when contacted, reiterated the party’s strong stance against the hudud-linked bill.
“We in DAP are ready to face the debate. We are united in our stance to oppose it.
“It is expected that it will be based on what was proposed before. It is unlikely that anything new will come up.”
The private member’s bill to amend Act 355 was first moved by Hadi on May 26 last year.
The bill seeks to amend the act to empower Islamic courts to enforce punishment, except for the death penalty, provided in Syariah laws for Islamic offences listed under state jurisdiction in the Federal Constitution.
During the last Parliament sitting in November, Hadi again tabled the motion for its first reading with proposed amendments following a special briefing on the bill among Muslim MPs, including Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
He had, however, moved to defer the bill’s debate to the next Dewan Rakyat session, which starts on Monday, to give time for the public to fully understand the proposed amendments.
In the motion, Hadi said among the proposed amendments to be made to Act 355 were increasing the maximum penalties to 30 years’ imprisonment, fine of RM100,000 and 100 strokes of the rotan.