Parliament credibility tarnished after Shariah Bill twist, Pakatan MPs say

A group of ten opposition MPs said they have lost respect for the Dewan Rakyat Speaker for allowing the House to be used for a ‘sandiwara (drama)’. — wiki pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Parliament’s credibility has been affected in the chain of events that led to the deferment of debates on the private member’s bill to increase Shariah Court punishments, Pakatan Harapan MPs said today.

A group of ten opposition MPs from PKR, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) criticised Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia’s use of discretionary powers during a press conference at the media area in Parliament.

“Today is the last I have lost respect for Pandikar, for allowing this House to be used for a sandiwara (drama),” PKR’s Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli said.

Putrajaya yesterday rushed five federal bills and deferred four more in a marathon sitting that lasted 20 hours to pave way to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to amend Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act to be on top of order paper today.

However, after initial presentation and secondment of the bill, Pandikar deferred debates to the next session.DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng said that the Dewan Rakyat sitting has been used for a “political game”.

“The sitting should not be politicised like this. Bringing up a private member’s bill and then deferring debates while there is still time, this has never happened before in Parliament history,” he said.

DAP’s Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said that Parliament’s credibility has been “affected” by the events today.