KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) has filed a motion on enhancing the powers of the Shariah courts, similar to that of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
Amanah communications director Khalid Samad claimed, however, that his party’s version would be more coherent and detailed than Hadi’s proposal.
“An alternative motion has already been submitted by Kota Raja,” the Shah Alam MP said, referring to Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud.
He added that the motion was submitted last week and will appear on the Order Paper after 14 days.
Khalid also said their proposal will not go beyond what was allowed by the Federal Constitution.
“Everyone will find our motion easy to understand and accept. It is clear that our motion is within the framework of the Constitution.
“It is not just about empowering the Shariah Courts by punishment but a more holistic approach,” he explained.
He added that the motion will propose the formation of a council that will include judges, religious experts and intellectuals to study how best to improve the Shariah courts.
Amanah also claimed that the alternative motion had the consensus Pakatan Harapan allies such as PKR and DAP.
“Our motion is acceptable to all parties,” Khalid added.
Khalid also said Amanah agreed in principle with upgrading and empowering the Shariah courts, but added that this must be in accordance with the Federal Constitution.
Hadi’s motion for his private member’s Bill is listed as the fourth item in the Order Paper for the parliamentary meeting beginning today.
The Bill seeks to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355, to empower Islamic courts to enforce any punishment ― except for the death penalty ― provided in Shariah laws for Islamic offences listed under state jurisdiction in the Federal Constitution.
Shariah court punishments are currently limited to jail terms not exceeding three years, whipping of not more than six strokes, or fines of not more than RM5,000.
Hadi insisted in May that his private member’s Bill aims to expand the range of punishments the Shariah courts can impose, and was not meant to introduce hudud law in Kelantan.