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.

Govt under fire after marriage and divorce bill delayed

Source: FMT News

Disappointed mother M Indira Gandhi says she waited eight years for justice but it has not come, while an NGO tells the government to stop ‘the wayang kulit’. Pic from FMT News.

Disappointed mother M Indira Gandhi says she waited eight years for justice but it has not come, while an NGO tells the government to stop ‘the wayang kulit’. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: The decision to defer amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 today brings added frustration to M Indira Gandhi, whose ex-husband converted their three children to Islam without her knowledge eight years ago.

The bill had been listed in the order paper for second reading at the Dewan Rakyat today. However, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi later said it would not be tabled at the current Parliament sitting.

According to a report in The Sun daily, Zahid said the bill must be studied in detail and feedback must be obtained from relevant quarters to prevent a conflict with Islamic fatwa and the Federal Constitution.

The bill was first tabled on Nov 21, 2016.

At a press conference at the Dewan Rakyat Media centre today, Indira said she was very disappointed by the delay. Read more

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

Child marriage is not acceptable — Marianne Clark-Hattingh

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Marianne Clark-Hattingh is the UNICEF representative in Malaysia

Marianne Clark-Hattingh is the UNICEF representative in Malaysia

APRIL 6 — UNICEF is outraged by statements uttered during the debate on the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017 claiming that it is okay for children to marry their rapists and that girls as young as 9 or 12 years old are ready for marriage.

It is not acceptable for a child to get married. Under no circumstances should child marriage be used as an excuse for rape or as a defence by alleged child sexual perpetrators to avoid facing prosecution. UNICEF does not condone in any way and is against using child marriage to cover up or ‘normalise’ rape, sexual abuse or teenage sex or worse to avoid the prosecution of perpetrators.

Scientific and medical evidence indicate that a girl who is not yet 18 is not physically and mentally ready to have children, to care for them and look after a family. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide, accounting for some 50,000 deaths each year. Girls between 10 -14 years of age are 5 times more likely than women aged 20 – 24 to die in pregnancy and childbirth.

Marriage before the age of 18 is a fundamental violation of human rights that impacts all aspects of a child’s life, especially girls. In Malaysia and elsewhere in the world, child marriage denies girl and boys their childhood, disrupts education, limits opportunities, increases the risk of violence and jeopardises health. Read more

JAG: Strip-down interview only part of a larger problem

Source: FMT News

The entire airline industry has long violated women's human rights by 'commodifying' their bodies, says the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality. Pic from FMT News.

The entire airline industry has long violated women’s human rights by ‘commodifying’ their bodies, says the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) has hit out at Malindo Air for “exploiting and commodifying” women’s bodies, saying it reflects a larger problem in the airline industry itself.

“The way Malindo Air treats potential female flight attendants is discriminatory, perverse and sexist.

“No potential employee of any airline should be subjected to such degrading treatment,” it said in a statement today.

JAG was responding to a recent report in The Malay Mail which said that female flight attendant candidates at Malindo Air’s walk-in interviews were told to strip down to their bras. 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

Hukuman sebat mandatori bagi pesalah jenayah seksual

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Barisan Nasional dan pembangkang penggubal undang-undang telah bersatu untuk menyokong Kesalahan Seksual Terhadap Kanak-Kanak Bill 2017 yang dibentangkan di Parlimen 28 Mac, 2017. — Foto oleh Kamles Kumar dari MMO.

Barisan Nasional dan pembangkang penggubal undang-undang telah bersatu untuk menyokong Kesalahan Seksual Terhadap Kanak-Kanak Bill 2017 yang dibentangkan di Parlimen 28 Mac, 2017. — Foto oleh Kamles Kumar dari MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, 6 April — Dewan Rakyat malam tadi meluluskan Rang Undang-Undang Kanun Keseksaan (Pindaan) 2017, yang antara lain memberi laluan kepada penguatkuasaan hukuman sebat mandatori terhadap pesalah jenayah seksual apabila akta itu diwartakan kelak.

Timbalan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Razali Ibrahim berkata di bawah pindaan akta itu, hukuman sebat mandatori boleh dikenakan ke atas pesalah yang melakukan kesalahan rogol, sumbang mahram, persetubuhan seksual bertentangan dengan aturan tabii secara rela dan tanpa kerelaan, serta kesalahan merangsang kanak-kanak kepada perbuatan kelucahan melampau.

“Rang Undang-Undang ini menunjukkan langkah serius kerajaan untuk menangani salah laku melibatkan jenayah seksual dalam masyarakat yang semakin berleluasa pada hari ini,” katanya ketika menggulung perbahasan rang undang-undang itu, yang kemudiannya diluluskan dengan undian majoriti pada 11.30 malam ini. Read more