KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 ― The son of the late Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman has filed a lawsuit asking the courts to declare PAS's proposal to increase Shariah sentencing to be in violation of the Federal Constitution and parliamentary procedure.
Mohamed Tawfik Ismail is seeking 10 declarations and orders that would effectively stop PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang from tabling his private member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act.
Among other things, Tawfik said the Bill should be declared unconstitutional as it violated the right to equality guaranteed to all Malaysians by Article 8 of the constitution.
In court papers sighted by Malay Mail Online, Tawfik said Hadi's proposed amendments and similar attempts also violate the Penal Code's Section 2, which he said provides for everyone to be subject to the same punishments for offences committed.
Tawfik claimed Hadi's Bill and similar moves would change "national policy", and must first be referred to the Conference of Rulers for consultation and consent as required by the Federal Constitution's Article 38, which he alleged was not done.
Among other things, Article 38 states the Conference of Rulers "may deliberate on questions of national policy" and any other matter that it thinks fit.
He explained in a March 27 affidavit filed with the High Court that Hadi's bid to increase Shariah punishments would result in "discrimination and inequality".
Based on his belief that the Rulers were not consulted, Tawfik said the courts should declare that the Dewan Rakyat Speaker may not allow the tabling of Hadi's Bill or any similar Bill by the government.
The former MP also wanted the High Court to declare that Hadi had breached the Dewan Rakyat's Standing Orders or rules for the lower House's proceedings, by allegedly not submitting reasons to support his proposed legal changes.
He added Dewan Rakyat secretary Datuk Roosme Hamzah should have rejected Hadi’s submission because of this alleged failure, and asked the court to declare the acceptance to be “wrongful”.
Lawyer Rosli Dahlan, who will lead Tawfik's legal team for this lawsuit, said the sealed copy of the papers will be served on the Speaker next week.
The lawsuit filed this afternoon named Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and Roosme as respondents.
Dr Ismail was the deputy to the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein who was the country's second prime minister.
Hadi's motion to propose his Private Member's Bill is in the Order Papers for the ongoing Dewan Rakyat meeting running from March 6 to April 6, the fifth time it has formally entered Parliament’s agenda.
He 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.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition decided it would not table a Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act.