PETALING JAYA – A Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) lawmaker has said that non-Muslim lawmakers should be allowed to question amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (RUU355).
Speaking at the “Pakatan Harapan live debate on RUU355” on Facebook Monday, Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said it was against democracy if non-Muslims were denied an opportunity to comment on the issue.
“If someone poses a question about RUU355 or asks to debate about it, it does not mean they are anti-Islam. In accordance with the constitution, people should be allowed to voice their criticisms without being discriminated,” he said.
The Parit Buntar MP said this in his reply to Kapar MP G.Manivanan, who had said that non-Muslim lawmakers were being criticised for debating PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill.
“Even Muslims are labelled as kafir (non-believers) when we question the amendments.
“PAS under the leadership (of Abdul Hadi) appears to be obsessed with only allowing Muslims and Malays to comment on this issue. It should not be that way,” said Mujahid.
Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad also agreed with the views of the former PAS lawmaker, saying that the late leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat would have always been open to non-Muslims debating Islamic matters.
Mujahid said the current PAS leadership was obsessed with enhancing the powers of the Syariah courts by imposing stiffer penalties.
“They are seeking to increase the three-year sentence to 30 years, increasing six lashes to 100 and increasing fines up to RM100,000. But with the current state of the Syariah courts and its management, do you think effective enforcement is possible?” added Mujahid.
He said if RUU355 was really about improving the Syariah courts, the focus should also be on having enough enforcement officers and enough well-paid Syariah judges.
Debates on Abdul Hadi’s Bill were deferred to the next session in July.