KUALA LUMPUR – Sarawak lawmakers are maintaining their rejection of a Bill to enhance the powers of the Shariah courts as they have not been briefed on the matter, said federal minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, a PBB leader, reportedly said that all states were supposed to be briefed of the proposal introduced by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
“Although as a legal person, I know what it is, I have to stand by my party’s principle which is to wait and see until we are briefed.
“Sarawak’s stand is that if it is hudud, then we will not support it [as] I have to go along with my leader [Sarawak Chief Minister and PBB president Tan Sri Adenan Satem],” she was quoted as saying in The Star.
“At the moment, they [Umno] don’t really say it is hudud, they just say it’s to strengthen the Shariah law penalties but our view is that if it is hudud then we won’t support,” she added.
In the news report, Nancy said the proposed amendments to the Bill would not be suitable for the people of Sarawak, who she claimed were mostly non-Muslims.
“It is not that we are rejecting just for the sake of it, but it’s because we already have an alternative for that, which is the Shariah law, and that is sufficient,” she was quoted as saying.
Even if the proposal go through in the next Parliament sitting, Nancy reportedly said that the state governments would have the final say on whether to embrace the amendments.
Hadi’s Bill seeks to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) 1965 to raise 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 has deferred its tabling in the Dewan Rakyat several times last year, but is expected to present it again when the session resumes in March.
– Malay Mail