MARANG: Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is adamant in pushing for stiffer punishment for shariah offences during an upcoming debate in Parliament at its current sitting.
Hadi, Member of Parliament for Marang, reiterated his stand to “fight on” towards achieving his goal of having the Private Member’s Bill passed to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355).
“But a lot depends on the (Parliamentary) speaker, who will decide whether or not to allow the bill to be debated, and its duration according to Parliamentary standing orders.
“The government (Parliamentarians) can agree to support a debate on the bill at any time (if they want to),” he said after his weekly sermon at the Rusila Mosque here.
Hadi added that it is the right of Muslims to have the bill debated and that non-Muslims should not interfere and respect the (Federal) Constitution.
“We Muslim parliamentarians (from across the political divide) have a joint responsibility (towards implementing amendments to the shariah laws), as it concerns Islam, just like matters involving mosques and prayers,” said Hadi.
He added that “he knows who was behind” the opposition to the amendments.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that the government will not table a bill in Parliament to amend the Shariah Act.
He said the decision was made “in the spirit of consensus” during a Barisan Nasional (BN) Supreme Council meeting.
Najib said the bill will remain a Private Member’s Bill, which was first moved by Hadi in Parliament on May 26, last year.
Yesterday, Pas information chief Nasrudin Hassan said the party remains resolute in tabling the bill, despite the government’s decision not to do so.
Nasrudin said Pas’ MPs have been ready for the debate “from day one.”
Also yesterday, Terengganu Pas commissioner Satiful Bahari Mamat characterised BN as “dancing to the tune” of its component parties when it unanimously decided not to support a debate on the bill.
He said that it appeared that BN, led by its chairman, Najib, was backing off to please its component parties, like MCA, when making the decision on Wednesday.ends