SUNGAI BESAR: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has explained how the Private Member’s Bill proposed by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang was given prominence in Parliament last Tuesday.
Speaking on a visit to Sungai Besar, Azalina said the instructions to expedite the Bill came from the Leader of the House and the Chief Whip.
The Leader of the House is Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, while the Chief Whip is Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Azalina said this when asked whether she received the cabinet approval to fast-track Abdul Hadi's Bill from no 15 – the last item on the queue – to No 1 on the queue on May 26.
Azalina added that as the Minister in charge of Parliament, she reports to the Leader of the House and the Chief Whip
"So, the instruction I got to push it from 15th to 1st place will definitely be from the Leader of the House and the Chief Whip because that is Parliament procedure,” said Azalina.
She said the Minister who was responsible for such a Bill was the Minister in charge of Islamic affairs, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
"Jamil Khir also informed the Speaker that there was no objection (from the Government) so that's where I came in," she explained.
Azalina added that it was still premature to comment on the Bill.
"If you want to make any comments, I think you need to wait until it is passed,” she said.
The Bill seeks to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) 2016 to allow the Kelantan PAS state government to impose hudud punishments for crimes, except death sentences.
However, Hadi had requested that the Bill would only be debated at the next Parliament meeting in October.
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