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.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said last week that Hadi’s Bill would only be tabled after the government’s affairs are concluded, but said voting was unlikely to take place in today’s sitting.
The Barisan Nasional government is also no longer adopting the Bill as it previously said it would.
Hadi is seeking to increase the Shariah courts’ sentencing limits from the current three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine and six lashes to a new maximum of 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 lashes.