KUALA LUMPUR: There was a “misunderstanding” over the nature of the Private Member’s Bill tabled by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in Parliament, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the proposed Bill was not about hudud.
“We have told our friends in Barisan Nasional that it was a big misunderstanding when Abdul Hadi brought in the Bill.
“They see it as hudud laws as he is closely related to the hudud issue,” Najib told a press conference yesterday after the Umno Supreme Council meeting.
He said the proposed Bill was on reforming the caning punishment meted out by the Syariah Court.
“It’s about enhanced punishment. From six times caning, it has been proposed that the number will depend on the crime committed,” he said, adding that as the proposed Bill touched upon the Syariah Court, it would only involve Muslims in the country.
Najib said the caning punishment would not be severe.
“In Islam, the caning method will not cause injury due to the limits on how the caning is carried out,” he said.
He said that the proposed Bill would not touch upon non-Muslims in Malaysia and that Umno would listen to its component parties’ views on the matter.
“If we want to amend the laws, of course we need to rely on the consensus of all of BN.
“This is a principle we hold on to so whatever we do we must think about the good of the country as a whole,” he said.
He said the proposed Bill would also need to go through many stages before it could be implemented.
“It doesn’t mean that the Bill will be easily implemented because it needs the permission of the state Islamic Department and the Conference of Rulers as well as a law amendment by Parliament,” he said.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had on Thursday allowed a government motion to expedite Abdul Hadi’s Bill for debate.
It was reported that the Bill had sought to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 to empower the Islamic courts to impose any punishment allowed by Syariah law except the death sentence.
After the Bill was tabled, Abdul Hadi proposed that it be debated at the next meeting of the Dewan Rakyat in October.
The unexpected tabling of the Bill prompted strong opposition from MCA and other Barisan component parties.