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

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

BEBAS petition MPs to vote against Hadi’s Bill

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BEBAS will hold a counter-rally against Himpunan 355 at Taman Jaya park (pic) in Petaling Jaya on February 18, 2017. — Google pic

BEBAS will hold a counter-rally against Himpunan 355 at Taman Jaya park (pic) in Petaling Jaya on February 18, 2017. — Google pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — A secular activist group has submitted a petition to all MPs today to reject a private member’s Bill to enhance the Shariah courts, should it be tabled in the coming Dewan Rakyat sitting.

The group calling itself BEBAS listed three reasons as to why the Bill should be opposed, which among others claimed that the law would exacerbate the unequal treatment of Muslims and non-Muslims; invalid concrete evidence to prove that the proposed law would be effective; and the possible abuse of the law if it was passed.

“Those who support the proposed amendment to Act 355 seem to refuse to acknowledge the grave weaknesses in the protection of the accused under the current system. Any move to enhance Shariah punishments will only make things worse. Read more

Ku Li: I won’t support any bill against constitution

Ku Li - Pic from FMT News

Ku Li – Pic from FMT News

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today said he will not support any bill that contravenes the Federal Constitution.

This includes the private member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, which seeks to enhance punishment for Muslims who commit offences under shariah law.

“If anything comes to the Dewan Rakyat and if it is against the constitution, I will not support it because I have taken an oath to uphold the constitution. It is not just on this bill,” he said.

Read more

Dewan Rakyat passes Budget 2017

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The Supply Bill 2017 was approved through block voting, with 105 members of Parliament voting in support, 73 against and one abstaining. ― File pic

The Supply Bill 2017 was approved through block voting, with 105 members of Parliament voting in support, 73 against and one abstaining. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 ― The Dewan Rakyat last night passed the Supply Bill 2017 after debate since October 24.

The Bill was approved through block voting, with 105 members of Parliament voting in support, 73 against and one abstaining.

The results were announced by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia at about 11pm.

The Bill was tabled by Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani for the third reading which later was seconded by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim.

The bill was tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also Finance Minister on October 21, and was passed at the policy stage on November 7 prior to the committee stage.

The bill seeks to provide a budget of RM260.8 billion for government expenditure next year.

The Dewan sits again tomorrow. ― Bernama

Changes to Act tabled

Source: The Star Online

dewan_rakyat_signpost_2015_-_parliament_reportKUALA LUMPUR: Any spouse from a civil marriage who becomes a Muslim will no longer be allowed to unilaterally convert the children to Islam, under amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act.

A new section will be introduced to make it clear that the children’s faith will remain that of the religion of both parents prior to the conversion.

Any conversion to Islam of children below age 18 will be allowed only if both parents agree to it. Otherwise, the children decide their own faith once they turn 18.

The amendments were tabled for first reading at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

It came about after a number of contentious cases, including one where a Hindu wife faced custody battles and a multitude of problems when her husband became a Muslim and converted their children.

These amendments, which will have a retrospective effect once the Bill is passed, will be debated next year as the current meeting will end on Thursday. Read more

Speaker rejects Amanah’s alternative Shariah Bill

Source: The Malay Mail Online

dewan_rakyat_signpost_2015_-_parliament_reportKUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — Parti Amanah Negara’s (Amanah) bid to table its alternative Bill to enhance the Shariah courts failed to pass muster at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud told reporters at Parliament that Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia rejected her motion, filed on October 11, as it did not fulfil Section 23(1)(h) of the Standing Order, which bars asking questions to gain an opinion as a solution to an abstract or hypothetical legal case.

But Dr Siti disputed the Speaker’s grounds for rejection, insisting that she had not filed it as a question as alleged but as a private member’s Bill.

“The reason under 23 (1) (h) is not viable as it is on questions and not motions. I think the reasoning is not a real reason,” she said.

However, the Amanah women’s wing chief said she will not be appealing the Speaker’s decision, claiming it was pointless. Read more