KUALA LUMPUR: The opposition says it will set up a mock Parliament to debate the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) after their right to speak was denied at the Dewan Rakyat today.
Rafizi Ramli (PKR-Pandan) said the session, which would have a speaker, would be held in a studio next week.
“Where in the world does Parliament only listen to one side and cut short (the debate)?” he said during a joint press conference with other opposition MPs.
“Today completes the drama they (Umno and PAS) have been playing.”
He added that it was a signal that the general election was close.
Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong) said Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia owed Malaysians an explanation for his refusal to allow opposition MPs to debate PAS’ bill.
He added that Pandikar’s action affected Parliament’s credibility.
“All the opposition parties were there. Pandikar had said it (Dewan Rakyat) will hear Marang (MP) and they were likely to vote. We waited to debate.”
Earlier, Pandikar abruptly stopped the debate on the bill, put forth by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang. Before that, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan had been given almost one and a half hours to explain the bill.
The opposition was told the debate would be continued at the next Parliament session.
Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Amanah-Parit Buntar) said the opposition had wanted to debate on the points raised by various BN lawmakers while Takiyuddin was giving his speech.
PAS MP Nasruddin Hassan had earlier said that Article 3 of the Federal Constitution states that Islam is the country’s official religion and that other religions are free to practise their beliefs.
“When we want to practise Islam, there is no freedom while others are free to practise,” he had said.