KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 ― Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Haji Ahmad Yakob urged today all Muslim federal lawmakers to support PAS’ hudud Bill should it be debated in the next parliamentary meeting.
Ahmad, who is also PAS Kelantan commissioner, pointed out that the state government had enacted the Shariah Criminal Code Enactment II back in 1993, with amendments tabled in March last year in a bid to implement Islamic criminal law, but it has yet to be enforced.
“God willing, Kelantan will be the first state to implement Islamic criminal law on only Muslim offenders,” Ahmad said in a statement.
“Non-Muslims do not have to be afraid or to look down on this because this law does not involve them at all,” he added.
There are 130 Muslim MPs in Malaysia. Umno and PAS have 86 and 14 seats respectively in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat, totalling 100, which would fall short of the majority needed to pass the Bill.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang tabled a private member’s Bill in Parliament yesterday that seeks to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 to empower the Islamic courts to impose any punishment besides the death sentence. Currently, Shariah Court punishments are limited to jail terms not exceeding three years, or whipping of not more than six strokes, or fines of not more than RM5,000.
However, the Islamist opposition party chief requested for his motion to be deferred to the next parliamentary meeting despite Umno minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said’s move to expedite the tabling of his Bill.
Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties MCA, MIC, Gerakan and SUPP have issued a joint statement expressing concern over the Bill that they said contravened Article 8 of the Federal Constitution on equality before the law.