KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — PAS has downplayed today the return of a private Bill seeking to empower the Shariah courts, despite the inclusion of its MPs in the new Cabinet.
Malaysiakini reported the Islamist party’s vice-president Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah saying that there are other issues that need to be prioritised, including a possible no-confidence vote against the prime minister.
“We hope the amendments can be made, but it is too soon [to discuss it],” the Kelantan deputy mentri besar was quoted saying.
“[The new Cabinet ministers] are sworn in today, so they haven’t had much time yet [to consider what to do].
“We also have a big challenge coming up on May 18, where there might be a no-confidence vote called in Parliament,” he added.
Three PAS MPs were named in Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Cabinet, including secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan as the minister in charge of Parliament and laws.
PAS had previously planned to table the Bill to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355, but was halted by then Barisan Nasional government.
The Bill, which sought to increase maximum punishment limits by up to 10 times for the courts, was even allowed by the previous government to be tabled and read out in Parliament, though it was never passed.