Punish errant publications but don’t shut them down, says Guan Eng

Source: The Star Online

GEORGE TOWN: Nanyang Siang Pau should not be closed since it has apologised and retracted a caricature that allegedly mocked two political leaders, said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“Publications should be given chances to admit their mistakes, be punished but not to the extent of closing them down,” he told a press conference in Komtar yesterday.

Some quarters are asking that Nanyang Siang Pau be closed after the Chinese daily published a cartoon depicting PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia as monkeys. Read more

Speaker defers Shariah Bill debate

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has postponed the debate on Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s Bill until Parliament next convenes.

After allowing opening arguments, Pandikar invoked his discretionary powers to halt the Bill’s proceedings when PAS’s Kota Baru MP Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan seconded the motion for the Bill with a lengthy explanation.

Hadi earlier presented his proposed amendments to Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 with his own justifications.

“I have the full right to decide how this meeting goes, I am not tied down by Standing Order 15,” Pandikar said, referring to the fact that it was a private member’s bill and the speaker had full discretion to decide on the proceedings.

“I want to use a saying – if you have power, you are powerful. If you don’t use your power, you are a bloody fool. Today, I don’t want to be a bloody fool,” he added.

He said that hearing explanations from Hadi and Takiyuddin had made the amendment bill, known as Act 355, become much more clearer in its reasoning.

Hadi presented his bill for less than 30 minutes before Takiyuddin spent close to two hours seconding the motion.

After a MP ends his seconding speech, debates would normally take place, followed by a vote whether to pass the motion.

Speaker allows Shariah Bill, says sub judice not barrier to lawmaking

Source: The Malay Mail Online

A group of people hold placards with slogans expressing support for the private member’s Bill by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang outside the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur on April 6, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

A group of people hold placards with slogans expressing support for the private member’s Bill by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang outside the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur on April 6, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — The legal rule of sub judice cannot be cited to prevent Parliament from performing its legislative function, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said when allowing a private member’s Bill to enhance Shariah sentencing today.

Rejecting allegations of abuse in his decision to admit the Bill despite an ongoing lawsuit to block this, Pandikar said each arm of the government must not interfere with the others.

“If a court stops this, that means the courts become more powerful than Parliament,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today, citing parliamentary rules on sub judice. Read more

DAP: BN hoodwinked components on Shariah Bill

Source: The Malay Mail Online

DAP's Lim Guan Eng says his party's lawmakers will reject the Bill if it comes up for voting. — Picture by KE Ooi for the MMO.

DAP’s Lim Guan Eng says his party’s lawmakers will reject the Bill if it comes up for voting. — Picture by KE Ooi for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 – DAP today accused Barisan Nasional (BN) of deceiving its member parties after the government deferred its matters in Parliament, letting PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang table his Bill to raise Shariah punishments.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng expressed surprise over the development, despite BN leaders saying the Bill would be tabled in the current session.

“We can see that whatever promises made by BN to MCA, MIC, and Gerakan are false promises,” Lim said.

Lim did not elaborate on these “promises”.

BN chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak previously said the coalition was no longer taking over Hadi’s Bill as there was no consensus among its components to do so. Read more

Reject Hadi’s Bill, G25 urges MPs

Source: The Malay Mail Online

G25 member Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim (pic) said the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang ran contrary to a fair and just legal system in the multi-racial country. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

G25 member Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim (pic) said the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang ran contrary to a fair and just legal system in the multi-racial country. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — G25 member Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim pleaded with federal lawmakers to vote against the private member’s Bill to raise Shariah sentencing that will likely be tabled in Parliament today.

Mohd Sheriff, who is also former Finance Ministry secretary-general, said the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang ran contrary to a fair and just legal system in the multi-racial country.

“The people’s representatives must reject RUU355 because it will harm national unity and destroy Malaysia’s image as a progressive country in the eyes of the law,” the member of the group of retired high-ranking civil servants said in a statement and using the initials of the Bill in Malay.

The government late last night deferred its remaining matters and effectively allowed Hadi’s Bill to appear at the top of the Order Paper today, making it likely to be debated at the Dewan Rakyat at noon.

Hadi’s Bill aims to raise the ceiling on Shariah punishments from three years’ imprisonment, six strokes of the cane and an RM5,000 fine to 30 years’ imprisonment, 100 strokes, and an RM100,000 fine. Read more

Dewan Rakyat: Hadi’s bill now first order of the day

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: In a repeat of events from last May, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to enhance punishments the shariah courts can impose has been moved up the order paper in today’s agenda in the Dewan Rakyat.

This was revealed on social media this morning with a screenshot showing the online version of the Dewan Rakyat order paper listing Hadi’s proposal to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) as the first item.

On May 26 last year, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said submitted a motion to elevate Hadi’s hudud bill to increase its chances of being tabled.

The hudud bill submitted by Hadi was the 15th and final item in the day’s order papers, but the motion was moved up to be tabled after the government’s bills. Read more

Ex-DPM’s son says ‘Parliament dead’ as Shariah Bill emerges despite lawsuit

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Mohamed Tawfik Dr Ismail (pic) served the writ of summons on Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, and claimed then that it would be sub judice to allow the Bill to increase Shariah sentencing into the Order Papers. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri for MMO.

Mohamed Tawfik Dr Ismail (pic) served the writ of summons on Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, and claimed then that it would be sub judice to allow the Bill to increase Shariah sentencing into the Order Papers. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri for MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Mohamed Tawfik Dr Ismail today accused the Dewan Rakyat Speaker of abuse by allowing a private member’s Bill into Parliament’s agenda while the former’s lawsuit to prevent this remains pending.

The son of former deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman yesterday served the writ of summons on Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, and claimed then that it would be sub judice to allow the Bill to increase Shariah sentencing into the Order Papers.

“Today is a sad day for Malaysians. Today Parliament is dead and the nation is being driven down a dangerous path,” he said in a statement issued by his lawyers.

Tawfik went on to accuse Pandikar of “arrogance in the highest order” over his action, claiming it was a display of power by the latter.

He asserted that Pandikar betrayed his oath as Speaker to protect and preserve the Federal Constitution, in reference to Tawfik’s claim that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s Bill was unconstitutional and in breach of parliamentary rules.

Tawfik then urged the public to condemn the Speaker as the elected members of Parliament were not prepared to do so.

Putrajaya early this morning deferred its remaining Bills to the next session of Parliament, effectively elevating Hadi’s Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill to the top of the Order Paper. It is now likely to be debated for the first time at noon. Read more

MPs urged to be present and vote against RUU355 if fast-tracked — Joint Statement

Published in: Malaysiakini

Dated 5 April 2017

We, the undersigned civil society organisations warn that if PAS president Hadi Awang’s bill to amend Act 355 is fast-tracked on Thursday and the motion to adopt it is passed, it will be adopted as a government bill as per Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s declaration on March 17.

Pic form Malaysiakini.

Pic form Malaysiakini.

To prevent this, all Members of Parliament who object to the bill must attend the Parliamentary meeting throughout April 6 (Thursday) to defeat Hadi’s Act 355 if it is fast-tracked again by an Umno minister as had happened twice on May 26 and Nov 24 last year.

The public and the parliamentarians must remember that Act 355 is alive despite BN’s U-turn on tabling it as a government bill. The BN may just fast-track the motion and allow its MPs to vote on it freely. If enough MPs who object to the bill have gone home early, it can be adopted as per Zahid’s declaration. The BN’s reversal on last Wednesday will then be shrewdly reversed.

As this is an ordinary bill, passing the motion will require only a simple majority. In other words, if only 60 MPs stay in the House when the motion to table the bill is put to vote, it can be passed with 31:29.

Hence, any parliamentarian who is absent when the bill is put on vote should be seen as silently supporting the bill, whatever their publicly-declared position is. If the motion is passed and the bill becomes a government bill, all those who are absent should be held responsible alongside those who vote for the motion. Read more

Bebas: Hadi’s bill not defeated yet

Source: FMT News

Secular activist group says it will not hesitate to mobilise public opinion against the shariah amendment bill if it is tabled. Pic from FMT News.

Secular activist group says it will not hesitate to mobilise public opinion against the shariah amendment bill if it is tabled. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Although the government is not taking over nor tabling the private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355), the bill hasn’t been defeated says secular activist group Bebas.

Bebas member Azrul Mohd Khalib said support to amend the act wasn’t limited to PAS leaders and members.

“We have to recognise that this is not an issue that has support only from PAS.

“It is not a question for Umno to decide for Malaysia and Malaysians whether it is suitable.

“The Islamisation of our country is an agenda that is being championed by many individuals, parties and organisations.”

Azrul said the private member’s bill – pushed by PAS president and Marang MP Abdul Hadi Awang – was only one component of the agenda.

Even then, he said the government’s abandonment of plans to take over and table the bill doesn’t mean it has been defeated.

It still remained a private member’s bill on the legislative list and can be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat. Read more

PAS undeterred by government decision on shariah bill

Source: FMT News

Vice-president Idris Ahmad says the party will continue its fight till judgement day. Pic from FMT News.

Vice-president Idris Ahmad says the party will continue its fight till judgement day. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: PAS today vowed to continue pushing for heavier penalties for shariah offences, a day after Prime Minister Najib Razak said the government would not table a bill to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act as announced ealier.

“We will fight for it till judgement day,” PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad told reporters at the Parliament today.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang tabled the bill, also known as Act 355, seeking to increase the maximum punishment on offences under shariah to 30 years’ jail, 100 lashes of the cane, and RM100,000 fine.

Idris brushed aside suggestions that the government’s decision would affect the party’s ties with Umno, saying there had never been one to begin with. Read more