G25 urges MPs to reject Bill, says it threatens national unity

  • Nation
  • Friday, 07 Apr 2017

PETALING JAYA: Civil society group G25 member Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim has urged MPs to reject Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill as it is contrary to the legal system that is “fair and thorough for the country’s diverse communities”.

In a statement, he said the Bill threatens national unity and would tarnish Malaysia’s image as a progressive nation.

“Malaysia aims to build its economy and society with a good system of government and law to ensure the best future for our children and grandchildren in our beloved country.”

Pro-moderation activist Mohamed Tawfik Ismail said the Speaker was committing treason if he allowed it to proceed.

Tawfik, 66, had filed a suit earlier against Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and House secretary Datuk Roosme Hamzah seeking to declare the Bill as unconstitutional and that it flouted parliamentary procedures.

In a statement issued yesterday, Tawfik said: “Today is a sad day for Malaysians. Today, Parliament is dead.

“Parliament is dead when the Speaker – who took an oath to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution – betrays the very oath he has taken.

“The Speaker is disregarding the Constitution and ignoring the Rulers’ Conference rights to be consulted before the promulgation of any laws that will divide us as a nation.

“For the Speaker to bump Hadi’s Bill to No. 1 in the Order Paper is arrogance of the highest order,” he said.

Tawfik said the Dewan’s decision also ran in contempt of the Rulers’ Conference as prior consent was not obtained.

The former Umno MP and son of Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, the country’s second deputy prime minister, filed the court papers on March 31.

Former Malaysian Bar president Datuk Lim Chee Wee called the Speaker’s action as “reckless” when there was a suit challenging the Bill.

Each state Ruler’s consent should be required for this amendment, he added.

“There cannot be two criminal justice systems in Malaysia and Hadi’s Bill is unconstitutional,” Lim said.

However, lawyer Syahredzan Johan claimed that the Bill did not require any consent or sanction from the Council of Rulers.

“I cannot see how allowing the motion to table the Bill can be contrary to the sub judice rule, since the High Court where the suit is filed will determine the issues in the suit independently of whatever happens in Parliament yesterday,” he said.

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