SHAH ALAM: Selangor PKR has backed its de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who recently supported the right of Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to table a Private Member's Bill to strengthen the Syariah courts.
However, Selangor PKR information chief Shuhaimi Shafiei said Anwar's stance must not be seen as a new revelation or a U-turn.
"It is also not because of the supposed pressure of cutting the 'tahaluf siyasi' (political ties) with Pas. Motion to sever ties with PKR had long existed and was even brought up during the Pas Muktamar last year.
Here, he said Anwar was merely echoing a statement by PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who on Nov 23 last year had stressed that the right of the Marang MP to table the amendment to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355), must be respected.
Wan Azizah had also said it was crucial that the prime minister state whether the government was ready to set up a parliamentary select committee to study amendments proposed by Hadi.
Shuhaimi, who is also Seri Muda assemblyman, urged all parties to respect the rights of a parliamentarian to table a Private Member's Bill as allowed by the House.
The democratic space and process that exists in Parliament must be used by parliamentarians to bring forward suggestions that would enhance policies that are beneficial to the people, he said.
Shuhaimi also hoped that the Dewan Rakyat Speaker will allow RUU355 to be debated in the next Parliament session as it was important to give a chance to all parliamentarians to air their views through mature debates for the sake of the people.
"Selangor PKR is supportive of any positive efforts to strengthen the Syariah laws and the courts in our country. Any statements issued by PKR party members, should it differs from the policy that had been unanimously agreed upon in our central leadership council meeting, are their personally views.
"The explanation given by Hadi and Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (Pas sec-gen) proves that RUU355 is not about hudud laws and it does not involve the non-Muslims and this has cast away fears. Their explanations are the first step of the discussion process to empower Syariah laws comprehensively and it would not impact the non-Muslim community.
"Selangor PKR also stressed that RUU 355 should be supported and given attention by the Muslims. It does not touch on the punishments on non-Muslims and at the same time, PKR respects the religious rights of other communities." said Shuhaimi.