KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 – PAS thanked the government for allowing the tabling today of a Private Member’s Bill in the Dewan Rakyat to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965. PAS president and Marang MP Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said he would like to thanks to the government for allowing the tabling of the Bill. He told this to reporters at the Parliament lobby here.
He said PAS had brought the Private Member’s Bill four times since 1995, and it was accepted for tabling today. Abdul Hadi said the Bill sought to empower the Syariah Courts and it only involved Muslims and had nothing to do with non-Muslims. When tabling the Bill, he said it sought to amend Section 2 of the Act to state that the Syariah Courts will have jurisdiction over Muslims, and in the case of offences on matters listed in Item 1 of the State List under the Ninth Schedule of Federal Laws.
He said it was also to include Section 2A, which states that in the conduct of criminal law under Section 2A, the Syariah Courts have the right to impose penalties allowed by Syariah laws related to offences listed in the said section, in addition to the death penalty.
Abdul Hadi then proposed, under Rule 15(5) of the Standing Orders, that the Bill be debated at the next meeting of the Dewan Rakyat. PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad said the postponement of the debate would provide the opportunity for all MPs to follow it at the next meeting of the House. He said the Bill is also in response to a recent royal call to strengthen the Syariah Courts, and does not involve non-Muslims.
PAS Youth chief Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz acknowledged that the tabling of the Bill was proof of successful cooperation between PAS and Barisan Nasional. He said cooperation exists in matters of common interest. Meanwhile, he also added that this is the type of cooperation that PAS is talking about and they are thankful to the Speaker and government for having allowed the tabling of the Bill.