KUALA LUMPUR: The non-Muslim parties in the government have been asked to state their stand on Putrajaya’s decision to again draft the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 amendment bill, better known as RUU355.
Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat, Hannah Yeoh (PH-Segambut) asked Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to confirm whether MPs from MCA, MIC, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and STAR had been consulted on the matter.
The RUU355, earlier known as “Hadi’s bill” in reference to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, aims to increase the jurisdiction of the shariah courts and punishments meted out for shariah criminal offences.
Last week, Ismail said the government was “intensifying efforts” to draft the bill. After it is finalised, it will then be presented to the respective states to be discussed.
Meanwhile, Yeoh also questioned the Dewan Rakyat’s rationale in choosing the media outlets which were allowed to cover proceedings this session, saying this was important to ensure media freedom.
“How was a new online portal like MalaysiaNow allowed to physically cover proceedings and not others like FMT, The Malaysian Insight and Malay Mail (which have been around much longer)?
“What is the Dewan Rakyat’s main criteria in listing these portals when agencies which have operated for longer and are more influential were not included,” she asked.
The former deputy minister also urged that the immigration department’s MyTravelPass system be abolished and all government service counters be reopened, as part of reopening the nation.
She said the recovery phase will not be effective if the government’s service system is not restored to normal.
On another matter, Yeoh proposed that the police’s Special Branch be mobilised toward addressing cases of paedophilia rather than constantly monitoring the activities of opposition MPs.
“The Special Branch should be going after the paedophiles, not the opposition members. Look at how the Australian police were able to help arrest a paedophile who was active for 14 years in Sarawak, but who was outside our police’s surveillance,” she said, in reference to the arrest of Alladin Lanim in Lundu, Sarawak.
Alladin was touted as one of the world’s most wanted paedophiles but had operated freely for 14 years.
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