Contempt of court to make Hadi’s bill GE14 campaign issue, warns Tawfik

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PETALING JAYA: A pending summons by a former Barisan Nasional (BN) MP against Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia over a proposal to increase shariah punishments means it will be subjudice to list the private member’s bill from PAS at the next Parliamentary session, or use it as campaign material for the impending elections.

“It would also be subjudice and a contempt of court for RUU355 to be discussed and / or deliberated in public as a campaign issue in the 14th general election, while the court deliberates the issues raised in the Originating Summons,” said Tawfik Ismail, referring to the Bill’s popular acronym.

The Bill, proposed by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, seeks to give wider powers to shariah courts as well as heavier punishments for Muslim offenders.

Last week, Tawfik scored an initial victory after the High Court rejected Pandikar’s application to strike out his suit, seeking a declaration from the court that the Bill is unconstitutional and against parliamentary procedures.

Tawfik, who named Pandikar as a defendant in his suit, said any bill related to Islam must first get the consent from the Conference of Rulers before being tabled in parliament.

Tawfik, the son of the late illustrious Umno leader Ismail Abdul Rahman and an outspoken critic of conservative Islam, today warned that it would amount to contempt of court for the Bill to be listed in the Dewan Rakyat, which is scheduled to be held on March 5.