PETALING JAYA: The recent tabling of Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill is to empower the Syariah courts and it should be agreed upon by all parties “in principle”, says PKR.
In stressing this, the party said it also supported the right of the PAS president and Marang MP to table the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355).
In a statement, PKR vice-president Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin said the party would also adopt Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s suggestion for a select committee to be set up to discuss the issue.
“The PKR leadership met on Sunday and discussed the views of our leader on the tabling of Abdul Hadi’s Private Member’s Bill,” said Shamsul Iskandar.
Last Thursday, the PAS president tabled the Bill but Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia deferred the debate to the next session in July.
Anwar said that Abdul Hadi and PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan had both given their assurances that the Bill would not be enforced on non-Muslims.
“The Bill is to empower the Syariah courts and all parties should agree to this in principle,” said Shamsul Iskandar.
The PKR central leadership council will adopt Anwar’s stand as “party policy”.
“Therefore, we call upon all PKR members, including MPs to take the same stand,” the Bukit Katil MP added.
Meanwhile, MCA repeated its demand for the DAP to state its stand on Abdul Hadi’s Bill.
“DAP should not evade the question anymore and instead respond immediately on the tabling by the PAS president,” said party publicity bureau chairman Datuk Chai Kim Sen.
Chai said this in a statement after other allies of Pakatan Harapan including PKR, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi) and Parti Amanah Negara had declared support for the Private Member’s Bill.
“Immediately after Abdul Hadi tabled the private motion to amend Act 355 on April 6, all Pakatan allies declared their stand of supporting the motion but DAP merely remained silent during the sitting.
“(They) only pretended to attack MCA through ‘Facebook Livestream’ outside the sitting as to showcase their ‘opposition’ to the Abdul Hadi’s private motion,” he said.
He added that DAP was, however “slapped hard” on the face by its allies.
“On April 7, Pakatan Harapan chief secretary Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said there was no issue of Pakatan MPs opposing Act 355.
“He further elaborated that the opposition leaders merely questioned issues related to the parliamentary procedure which does not necessarily mean that they were rejecting Syariah,” he said.
On the same day, Pribumi president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin expressed his support for the Act 355 Amendments Bill.