PETALING JAYA: Delaying the debate on the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) amendments is disappointing, says PAS lawmaker Datuk Mahfuz Omar.
The Pokok Sena MP said he did not believe Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had acted independently when he made the decision.
He pointed out that MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam had stated it was Barisan Nasional’s decision to allow PAS to table Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill but not allow it to be debated.
“I had declared that I would support the Bill and I am disappointed it has been delayed,” Mahfuz said during the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians South-East Asia Regional Seminar.
He said both Abdul Hadi who tabled the motion and Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan who supported it should have objected to the Speaker’s decision.
DAP Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang accused Pandikar Amin of abusing his power when he disallowed debate on the Bill.
Lim claimed the Speaker had no authority to create his own rules or arrogate to himself powers that are not in the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders.
“As the Bill had not been debated and voted upon, the motion lapses and Abdul Hadi will have to start all over again to submit the Private Member’s Bill afresh in the next parliamentary meeting,” he said.