KUALA LUMPUR: PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill to enhance the powers of the Syariah courts has been tabled in Parliament.
He tabled the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act or RUU355 at about 12.40pm on Thursday, after question time.
Abdul Hadi’s proposed amendments to Section 2 of RUU355 are to increase the current “imprisonment of more than three years or fine of more than RM5,000, or more than six lashes” to “jail term of more than 30 years or fine more than RM100,000 or 100 lashes as administered in line with the syariah crimes”.
Earlier Opposition parliamentarians raised points of order prior to the tabling of the Bill.
Gopeng MP Dr Lee Boon Chye further asked why the four remaining Bills that were not debated on Wednesday were not given priority. Instead, he said, the Dewan Rakyat had given way to Abdul Hadi’s Bill.
Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia explained that he had to accept Abdul Hadi’s Bill because of an executive order by the Government to prioritise the Bill.
Several other Opposition MPs interjected a number of times to raise points of order when Pandikar prompted Abdul Hadi, also the Marang MP, to speak.
Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo brought up Mohamed Tawfik Ismail’s suit which seeks to declare Abdul Hadi’s Bill unconstitutional.
However, Pandikar responded by saying the rule of subjudice did not apply, quoting standing orders from the Indian parliament.
“If the court allows the injunction it means the court is more powerful than Parliament,” he said.
He said there was a similar court case by four individuals who had filed an injunction against the speaker and four others to stop them from allowing a Bill to be tabled, and the court had decided that Parliament had the right to allow the Bill.
“Subjudice applies if the case is already in court. In this case, the suit is only scrutinising whether the Bill is constitutional,” said Pandikar.
In November last year, Abdul Hadi tabled a “tweaked” motion of his Bill to empower the Syariah courts to impose stiffer penalties but he deferred it under Standing Order 15(5).