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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — Putrajaya will take up PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s Bill to upgrade Shariah punishments, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
Speaking at the Umno general assembly here, the party president said the decision was reached following discussions with the Islamist PAS.
“This is a private member’s Bill that will later be taken over by the government,” he said.
Umno previously extended various support to Hadi in his efforts to increase the punishments available to the Shariah courts, including elevating his motion above government matters and conducting a special briefing by the deputy prime minister for all Muslim MPs.
Today, Najib, who is also prime minister, assured non-Muslims again that the Bill will not affect them and should not be turned into political fodder
“Worry not, non-Muslims will not be under this law and the government is studying thoroughly to ensure there is no legal dualism here,” he added.
Later, he also lauded PAS for not participating in an opposition walkout during parliamentary debate on the federal budget and a recent street protest organised by Bersih 2.0.
“I say thank you to friends from PAS, for being mature in politics, for staying in Parliament, listening to Budget 2017 until the end, and also not joining the Bersih demonstration,” he said.
Hadi’s Bill now proposes to increase Shariah punishment caps to a maximum 30 years’ imprisonment, RM100,000 fine and 100 lashes of the cane.
It previously sought to remove all limits to Shariah punishments save for the death penalty.
Hadi read out his motion on the revised Bill in Parliament last week, but deferred explaining bill to the next Parliamentary meeting, due in March next year.