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.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi previously said, however, that voting on the Bill was not likely to take place today.