KUALA LUMPUR: Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang this afternoon tabled the Private Member's Bill to increase the powers of the syariah courts.
Hadi (Pas-Marang) tabled the bill, which seeks to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, at 12.37pm, despite attempts by Opposition lawmakers to prevent him from moving the motion, for a good 40 minutes.
Among those who raised points of order included Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Gelang Patah), Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong) and Gooi Hsiao Leung (PKR-Alor Star).
The heated proceedings came to a halt when Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia warned the MPs that he will order any of those who stand to leave the house.
The proposed amendments to Section 2 of The Act is to increase the current "imprisonment of more than three years or fine of more than RM5,000, or more than six lashes" to "jail term of more than 30 years or fine more than RM100,000 or 100 lashes as administered in line with the syariah crimes".
Hadi, in his opening remarks, assured that the amendments are only applicable to Muslims, not non-Muslims.
"History has proven that since Act 355 was passed, no non-Muslims have been prosecuted.
"I wish to urge the non-Muslim YBs to not be worried of the implications. No non-Muslims will be prosecuted," he said.
Today marks the third time Hadi has tabled the bill, having first moved by Hadi on May 26, last year.
In November last year, he again tabled a motion for its first reading.