PAS MP says opponents of Hadi’s bill just sentimental

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PETALING JAYA: Kuala Nerus PAS MP Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali has accused political detractors of the party’s shariah act amendment initiative of opposing for the sake of sentiment rather than reason.

“They do not oppose the bill with rational arguments but based on sentiment,” the PAS Dewan Ulama information chief said in a statement today.

He said parties like DAP, which were against the motion to table the bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang in the Dewan Rakyat last week, did not have valid explanations for doing so.

“They do not have any reasonable explanation or arguments,” he said, pointing out that the tabling process had complied with the Federal Constitution.

Khairuddin also stressed that the amendment to the act, in intending to increase the punitive powers of shariah courts in the country, only affects Muslims and does not involve non-Muslims at all.

“In truth, Pakatan Harapan is dancing to the tune of DAP in opposing any effort to strengthen Islam in this country. That is the truth.

“Unfortunately, Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties, like MIC and MCA, are dancing along with DAP.

“They are racing to show which one is more anti-Act 355. They have probably forgotten the Muslim voters who made them win the parliamentary seats they now hold.”

On April 6, the Dewan Rakyat saw Hadi, who is Marang MP, proposing the motion to table the bill. Kota Bharu MP and PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan seconded the motion and spoke for 90 minutes on it.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, in a surprise move, deferred debate on Hadi’s bill until Parliament reconvenes on July 24.

The tabling of the motion to amend the act and the decision by Pandikar to put off the debate were greeted with vocal objections from DAP and Amanah MPs, many of whom stood up to noisily berate the move.

Some political observers say there would be no further debate on the bill if the general election is announced before Parliament reconvenes.

Khairuddin said the people at large and all the MPs now have ample time to study the explanation put forward during the tabling before the debate takes place.

He also questioned Pakatan Haparan MPs’ intentions in aggressively objecting to the move in the Dewan Rakyat and discouraging the public from supporting it at this early stage.

The bill seeks to increase the sentencing powers of shariah courts from a maximum of three years’ imprisonment, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the cane to a maximum of 30 years’ imprisonment, RM100,000 fine and 100 strokes of the cane.

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