PAS’ hudud Bill slated for debate next Parliament meeting

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Source: The Star Online

imagesPETALING JAYA: PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s (pix) controversial hudud Bill is set to ignite heated debate when Parliament reconvenes next week.

Abdul Hadi’s Private Members Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 is said to have been slotted as item number four in the next Parliament meeting’s Order Paper.

Abdul Hadi had tabled the Bill on May 26, the last day of the previous meeting.

However, Abdul Hadi opted to postpone debate on the Bill till October.

He has repeatedly assured that the proposed amendments are not aimed at implementing hudud law, but to increase the powers of the Syariah Courts to impose stiffer penalties for offences, except for the death penalty.

However, he failed to quell concern from certain quarters, particularly non-Muslims, who fear that the amendments will pave the way for implementation of hudud law in the country.

The Bill specifies that the increased penalties will only apply to Muslims, with stiffer penalties imposed by syariah courts.

Several Barisan Nasional component party leaders had objected to the Bill and raised the matter during the ruling coalition’s supreme council meeting last month.

Among those opposing the Bill are MCA, Gerakan and MIC, as well as a few component parties from Sabah and Sarawak.

However, Abdul Hadi remained hopeful that Muslim lawmakers from both sides of the political divide would support the Bill.

On Wednesday, Perak mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria urged Muslim MPs across the political divide to support the Bill, saying it was compulsory for Muslims to do so.

The Bill requires a simple majority of at least 112 votes for it to be passed.

However, Abdul Hadi’s Bill may only come up for debate on the second last or last day of the meeting on Nov 23 or 24, which is reserved for “other matters”, including private members’ bills.