Son of former DPM in Parliament to hand notice on Act 355

ARFA YUNUS

KUALA LUMPUR: No one will question the constitutionality of the Pas’ Private Member’s Bill which was moved by its President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, if he had sought approval through the right channel.

Tawfik Ismail, the son of former deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman said, this can be done by asking the permission or approval from all Malay Rulers.

He said this in relation to his move of filing a lawsuit recently asking the courts to declare Pas’ proposal as unconstitutional, describing his action as a “natural concern”.

“If Abdul Hadi does it the proper way, by getting the Rulers first to agree, then nobody would have an issue of its constitutionality.

“We are not attacking the philosophy behind this bill, because it is not religious as far as I am concerned. This concerns a matter of rule of law,” he told reporters when met outside Parliament today.

Tawfik had earlier handed over an originating summons to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia’s office which was received by his staff.

This was in an attempt to disallow the tabling of the Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) in Parliament.

The papers had called for Pandikar to remove the bill from the order list and to not allow it to be tabled and discussed in the House.

Tawfik further explained that the move to table the amendments without the Malay rulers or Conference of Rulers’ giving the go-ahead would deem them unconstitutional as the nine Malay rulers also head Islamic matters in their respective states.

“This move is taken to defend the country and the Federal Constitution. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong also has to defend the rule of law.

“For me, the court should make several declarations so that the amendments would not cause problems in the people’s thinking,” he said.

Tawfik filed the originating summons in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur last Friday, to seek a declaration that the proposed Act355 amendments were unconstitutional.