Zahid: Hadi’s Bill to come after government matters

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) says Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang may table his Bill only after Putrajaya concludes its affairs in Parliament. — Bernama pic

SUBANG JAYA, April 1 — PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang may table his Bill to increase Shariah sentencing only after Putrajaya concludes its affairs in Parliament, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Hadi's Bill is listed in the current Order Papers for the Dewan Rakyat, but he only managed to table it for the first time last year when an Umno minister intervened to elevate it above remaining government Bills in the June session.

“PAS's private member's Bill will only be tabled after all government matters… but I am sure voting on RUU355 will not be in this session,” Zahid said at a press conference today, using the Malay acronym for the Bill.

When asked if Barisan Nasional MPs would support the Bill, Zahid said the question was premature at this stage.

He also said it was Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia’s prerogative to decide if the Bill would be tabled.

Commenting on the lawsuit filed by Mohamed Tawfik Ismail, the son of the late Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, to declare the Bill unconstitutional, Zahid said the former federal lawmaker was entitled to do so.

“He (Mohamed Tawfik) can do that but the Parliament has a set of laws to abide,” he said when asked for comments on the matter.

Tawfik is suing Pandikar and Dewan Rakyat secretary Roosme Hamzah for accepting the Bill that he claimed was against the Federal Constitution and submitted without adhering to Parliament’s Standing Orders.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak earlier this week announced that the ruling BN coalition’s supreme council had decided against taking over Hadi’s private member’s Bill and tabling it as a government Bill.

The Islamist party’s president is proposing to raise Shariah sentencing limits to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 strokes.