KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 – The Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act tabled by Marang MP Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday is not on hudud punishment, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. The Prime Minister said it was actually a proposed amendment to existing legislation for enhancement of punishment for Syariah offences.
“There has been a big misunderstanding after Tuan Hadi (Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang) tabled the Private Member’s Bill. They thought he was tabling a bill on hudud laws ((in the Dewan Rakyat). It has nothing to do with non-Muslims. So I want to make it clear here that the proposed amendment is not on hudud laws,” he told a press conference after chairing an UMNO Supreme Council meeting here Friday.
Meanwhile, he said Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties had been informed on this. Najib was commenting on reports that Kedah MCA state executive councillor Datuk Dr Leong Yong Kong had quit MCA following the tabling of the Private Member’s Bill by Hadi.
Najib said that although it was tabled, it did not mean the legislation would be easy to implement because its approval still depended on the state Islamic religious councils, the Conference of Malay Rulers and amendments to laws in Parliament. He said, in this matter, UMNO was also bound by consensus with the other component parties in BN. He added that is the principle we have upheld all along, anything that they want done in the country, they must consider the overall interest.