Ex-DPM's son seeks to dismiss Speaker's bid to derail Shariah Bill suit

Tawfik insisted that Hadi's Bill would change 'national policy', and must first be referred to the Conference of Rulers for consultation and consent. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Tawfik insisted that Hadi's Bill would change 'national policy', and must first be referred to the Conference of Rulers for consultation and consent. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia's application to strike out a lawsuit to block the tabling of a Bill to enhance Shariah sentences was frivolous and an abuse of the legal process, said the son of the late Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman.

In a letter dated December 7 and made available to Malay Mail, lawyers acting for Mohamed Tawfik Ismail maintained that Parliament’s Speaker and its secretary were wrong to insist that the Dewan Rakyat was entitled to determine its own affairs.

In the application filed by the firm Mansoor Saat, Siti Kassim and Associates, the lawyers said the actions of Pandikar and Datuk Roosme Hamzah indicated that they had no intention of awaiting the outcome of the lawsuit before allowing the Bill by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to proceed.

“Seeing as the defendants are adamant on tabling and debating [Hadi's] Bill as soon as possible before the Dewan Rakyat, we have been directed by our client to apply to the court to allow the originating summons and the application for dismissal to be heard jointly on January 11, 2018,” the lawyers said.

Hadi's Bill returned to Parliament's Order Papers for the seventh time in the October sitting.

Aside from the application to strike out the counter-suit, Tawfik also filed an additional affidavit in support of his action, in which he cited remarks by the Sultan of Perak from a publication titled “The Legacy of the Malay Rulers”.

“Matters related to Articles 3(1), (2), (3), and (5); Article 11, Article 12, Article 38(5); Article 152, Article 153, and Article 18 (1). These matters require the approval of the Conference of Malay Rulers before any parliamentary amendments may be made,” according to an excerpt from Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah’s writings.

In his lawsuit filed March 31, Tawfik claimed, among others, that Pandikar had erred by allowing Hadi to submit his motion to raise Shariah sentencing limits before these were presented for the approval of the Malay Rulers.

Tawfik insisted that Hadi's Bill would change "national policy", and must first be referred to the Conference of Rulers for consultation and consent as required by the Federal Constitution's Article 38, which he alleged was not done.

Pandikar and Roosme responded on October 31 by filing an application to dismiss Tawfik's suit.

Hadi's Bill seeks to increase the Shariah courts' sentencing limits from the current three years' jail, RM5,000 fine and six lashes to a new maximum of 30 years' jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 lashes.

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