Doc­u­ment made avail­able to MPs this week, say sources

New Straits Times - - News - ARFA YUNUS KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

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.

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