PAS still optimistic about tabling Private Member’s Bill


KUALA LUMPUR: PAS is optimistic and hopeful that the Private Member’s Bill to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act will be tabled and debated before the current Parliament sitting ends in three weeks.

Its Secretary-General, Takiyuddin Hassan, said this was because the motion had already been listed in the order paper.

His response came following a statement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said yesterday, who said she was uncertain if there would be time for PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill.

“She gave her opinion but that is not the decision of the Parliament. That’s her opinion and we have our own opinion. We will also negotiate further with Parliament.

“So, if we are short of time, what to do, we will wait for the next session. We hope for the best,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby, here today.

Asked if there were any political negotiations involved in the effort to table the motion, the Kota Bharu Member of Parliament said: “We deal with the government and the Parliament to enable our motion to be tabled. It’s not a political negotiation.”

The bill seeks to amend Section 2 of the Act to state that the Shariah Courts will have jurisdiction over Muslims, and in the case of offences on matters listed in Item 1 of the State List under the ninth schedule of Federal Laws.

It is also to include Section 2A, which states that in the conduct of criminal law under Section 2A, the Shariah Courts have the right to impose penalties allowed by Shariah laws related to offences listed in the said section, in addition to the death penalty.

Hadi insisted in May that his private member’s bill aims to expand the range of punishments the Shariah courts can impose, and was not meant to introduce hudud law in Kelantan.