Govt to form committee for ‘Hudud Bill’
THE government will form a parliamentary select committee to iron out issues and clarify a Private Member’s Bill to strengthen the syariah courts.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the decision was made after a meeting of Muslim MPs from both political sides and it will be brought up to the Cabinet soon.
“We have decided to form a select committee which includes both Muslim and non-Muslim MPs from both sides.
“Its purpose is to clarify, iron out issues, and detail several unclear aspects of the Bill such as separation of powers and the jurisdiction of the syariah and civil courts,” Ahmad Zahid told reporters after chairing the meeting as BN chief whip.
The Bill in question is PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s (PASMarang) Private Member’s Bill to strengthen the syariah courts, which critics have taken to call the “Hudud Bill”.
Ahmad Zahid said he hopes that the select committee will be able to refine the Bill and address all areas of concern.
He will be recommending the move to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who will then table it in the next Cabinet meeting.
Ahmad Zahid stressed that the government respects the sensitivities of all religions and it is not its intention to complicate matters.
He said the Bill will not affect the powers of the civil courts and added that it will be read out a second time in Parliament, without tabling it.