Minister in bid to ensure hudud Bill makes it to Parliament floor

Azalina submitted a motion to elevate PAS’s hudud bill and increase its chances of being tabled. ― Bernama pic
Azalina submitted a motion to elevate PAS’s hudud bill and increase its chances of being tabled. ― Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said today submitted a motion to elevate PAS’s hudud bill and increase its chances of being tabled.

The minister in charge of parliamentary affairs proposed the motion to Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia shortly after lunch.

The hudud bill submitted by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang was the 15th and final item in today’s order papers, but the motion will make it the next order of item after the government’s Bills.

"I'm using my wisdom as the Speaker to allow a Bill that would never see the light of day. I'm creating a precedent by allowing this Bill that is last on the order paper," Pandikar told the Dewan Rakyat today.

Pandikar approved Azalina's motion after a voice vote, despite protests by DAP MPs who demanded for bloc voting.

In a statement later, Azalina said that this is not the first time a private member's bill was allowed by the government.

“On December 5, 1988, Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was allowed bring to Private Member's bill to amend the Societies Act 1966,” she said.

“That proposed amendment was even debated and voted on,” she added.

She said that the move is in line with Parliamentary reforms that Putrajaya had promised beginning this session.

Amanah communications director Khalid Samad separately said it was “peculiar” for the government to bring forward the bill and then allow it to be deferred.

“I urge them not to use religion for politics,” noting that the only thing that separated this session and the next are the two by elections in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar.

However he refused to commit if Amanah will back the amendments.

“If it's good for Islam, we will support it. But the bill is just read out so let us study it,” he added.

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