FROM ‘HUDUD’ HERO TO ‘HUDUD’ FOOL – HADI DUPED AGAIN BY NAJIB: NOW PARLIAMENT MAY HAVE NO TIME FOR HADI’S BILL, SAYS AZALINA
KUALA LUMPUR — It is uncertain if there will be time for PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s Bill in the current parliamentary meeting, minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has said.
Azalina noted that Parliament will only have two days left after the Budget 2017 debates to deal with Bills and other government business, adding that government business has to take priority.
“According to the calendar, after debate on the Budget concludes, there will be two, three motions that are waiting to be passed; there is also the need to debate the motion to bar Segambut (Member of Parliament Lim Lip Eng) from entering Parliament for six months.
“We only have two days to finish all the business, I don’t know if there will be time (for the private member’s Bill to be tabled), unless all of us (MPs) go overnight at Parliament,” the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of parliamentary affairs was quoted saying by local paper Sin Chew Daily.
According to the calendar for the Dewan Rakyat on the Parliament website, the third meeting this year is from October 17 to November 24, with only six days allocated for Bills and other government business.
With the rest of the meeting dedicated to the tabling and debate of Budget 2017, only October 17 to 20 and November 23 and 24 are available for other matters such as Hadi’s Bill to be dealt with.
However, Hadi’s Bill was not retabled even though it appeared on Parliament’s agenda in its Order Papers for this 25-day meeting.
As for Azalina’s fast-tracking of Hadi’s Bill on Parliament’s final day of its second meeting on May 26 ahead of other government business, she explained that she was following directives.
“I am the minister in charge of parliamentary affairs, what I did was based on the directives of the ‘majority seat coalition’s leader’ and the ‘party whip’.
“I cannot simply bring the motion forward, Hadi only read out his motion, (the Bill) has yet to go for first reading,” she said.
As for Barisan Nasional’s stand on Hadi’s Bill, Azalina reportedly said she does not sit in the BN supreme council.
When asked regarding the constitutionality of Hadi’s Bill which seeks to increase the range of punishments that the Shariah court can impose, Azalina reportedly said that the proposed legal change did not include allowing the Islamic courts to hand down the death penalty, which she said remains under the jurisdiction of the federal government and civil laws.
MCA and MIC previously revealed that BN has come to an agreement on how to handle Hadi’s Bill, including prioritising government matters above his motion in order to prevent it from being debated.
The Bill seeks to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355, to empower Islamic courts to enforce any punishment ― except for the death penalty ― provided in Shariah laws for Islamic offences listed under state jurisdiction in the Federal Constitution.
Shariah court punishments are currently limited to jail terms not exceeding three years, whipping of not more than six strokes, or fines of not more than RM5,000.
Hadi insisted in May that his private member’s Bill aims to expand the range of punishments the Shariah courts can impose, and was not meant to introduce hudud law in Kelantan.