Speaker allows Shariah Bill, says sub judice not barrier to lawmaking


KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — The legal rule of sub judice cannot be cited to prevent Parliament from performing its legislative function, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said when allowing a private member’s Bill to enhance Shariah sentencing today.

Rejecting allegations of abuse in his decision to admit the Bill despite an ongoing lawsuit to block this, Pandikar said each arm of the government must not interfere with the others.

“If a court stops this, that means the courts become more powerful than Parliament,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today, citing parliamentary rules on sub judice.

Pandikar was yesterday served with a writ of summons by Mohamed Tawfik Ismail, who is suing the Speaker and the secretary of the Dewan Rakyat over their decision to accept the Bill into the Order Paper.

The private member’s Bill by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is set to be read out for the second time in Parliament today.

Upon tabling his Bill, Hadi reiterated that both his proposed amendments and the Act do not concern non-Muslims.

He then urged non-Muslims not to worry about the outcome of his proposal to increase Shariah court punishments by up to tenfold.

“History has proven that; since this Act was passed, no non-Muslim has been charged under this law,” he said.

He also criticised non-Muslim MPs for objecting to the motion, stressing that they also have a responsibility to their Muslim constituents.

“Whipping in Islam is not to torture the criminal, but to shame the criminal,” he said when defending his proposal.

Hadi’s Bill will be debated at 2.30pm, and may be put to vote.

If successful, it would then be brought back to the House in the form of an amendment Bill.