PETALING JAYA: The Malay Rulers should be consulted, and their express approval obtained, before the tabling of any Shariah law amendment in Parliament, an Umno veteran said.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who is of Kelantan royal heritage, said the Malay Rulers, as custodians of the Islamic faith in their respective states, had full jurisdiction over any matter pertaining to Islamic law, Sinar Harian reported today.
“So, is there any merit for this Private Member’s Bill to be brought to Parliament? I am concerned that this matter has not followed due process,” Tengku Razaleigh, who is popularly known as Ku Li, was quoted as saying by the Bahasa Malaysia daily.
Ku Li was referring to the bill, to be tabled by PAS President and Marang MP Abdul Hadi Awang which proposes amendments to the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355. It is seen as an attempt by PAS to enable the enforcement of hudud punishments in PAS-ruled Kelantan.
The Gua Musang MP said he would ask for an explanation on the validity of this bill being presented in Parliament.
“As it is the Rulers’ right on matters pertaining to Islam, therefore this should have been brought up by the respective state religious councils, and discussed with their Rulers first.
“It should then be tabled before the Conference of Rulers and only with their consent can it be brought to Parliament,” Ku Li told Sinar Harian.
He said he was not against the proposed amendment but was only seeking clarification on the right procedure for the bill to be brought to Parliament.
“I am sure that not just the MPs, but all Malaysians would be interested to know about this, as it concerns religion,” Sinar Harian quoted him as saying.