Najib: Gov't will not table bill on Act 355

ADRIAN LAI and ESTHER LANDAU


KUALA LUMPUR: The government will not table the bill in Parliament to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today.

Najib, who is also Barisan Nasional chairman, said the decision was made “in the spirit of consensus” during a BN Supreme Council meeting earlier.

“The BN Supreme Council has decided that the government will not table the bill, in line with our policy and practice that BN makes decisions based on consensus,” Najib said during a press conference after chairing the meeting this evening.

Najib said the bill would remain as a private member’s bill, which was first moved by Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in Parliament on May 26 last year.

“The bill will remain as a private member’s bill and it is up to the (Parliament) Speaker to decide. If the Speaker decides that the bill will tabled, then it will be tabled,” he said.

Najib added that BN would not make a stand on the matter as it was still a private member’s bill.

On whether BN would support the bill if it was tabled, Najib said: “It depends on the Speaker’s ruling. We will take it from there. BN has no consensus on Act 355. We will not have a formal position on Act 355.

“There may or may not be any voting (on the bill). It’s up to the Speaker to decide.”