Govt axes parliamentary debate for Hadi’s Bill today

Hadi’s Bill was brought up in Parliament and read out twice before since it first appeared in the order paper three years ago. — Picture by Azneal Ishak
Hadi’s Bill was brought up in Parliament and read out twice before since it first appeared in the order paper three years ago. — Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — PAS’ proposed amendments to the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act, also known as Act 355, will not be debated in the Dewan Rakyat today despite being listed high up on the order paper in the last sitting for the 13th Parliament.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman tabled a motion that the House will adjourn immediately after debating a Ministry of Finance motion, not giving way for the private member’s Bill brought by Marang MP and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Hadi’s Bill was brought up in Parliament and read out twice before since it first appeared in the order paper three years ago.

It is unclear if the Bill will automatically return to the Order Papers after the general election, as Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia declined to rule on the matter.

This is the eight time that Hadi’s proposal has been listed in Parliament’s agenda.

“The 14th Parliament is different. So, any ruling I make on the matter will be irrelevant,” he said.

He was responding to PAS’ Kota Baru MP Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan, who asked if the motion on the Bill would re-appear when a new Parliament is convened after the polls.

Pandikar also said that following the government motion to adjourn Parliament after the Finance Ministry’s motion, he was bound by the Standing Orders to bar discussion of Hadi’s Bill.

Hadi’s private member’s Bill seeks to increase the Shariah courts’ sentencing limits to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 lashes, up from the current three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine and six lashes.

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