PERAK MUFTI SAYS MUSLIMS MPS MUST SUPPORT HADI’S BILL
(MMO) – Perak mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria has urged Muslim MPs across the political divide to give their support to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill, claiming it is compulsory for Muslims to do so.
Speaking to Malay daily Sinar Harian yesterday, Harussani said his call came after rumours that there will be Muslim MPs from Umno and PKR who will not vote for the Bill that aims to further empower the Shariah Court.
“That is wrong, because as Muslims, they must support all efforts to upgrade the Shariah courts and I myself hope for all Malay and Muslim MPs to unite in supporting this issue.
“If all of them can give their support, God willing it will be passed,” Harussani was quoted saying.
Hadi’s Bill on enhancing the powers of the Shariah Court is listed in the Order Papers for the next Parliament meeting beginning Monday.
Harussani also denied claims that the Bill will usurp the powers of the Malay rulers, saying that the appointment of Shariah judges itself needs the approval of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Harussani’s call was lauded by Perak PAS, who said that Harussani’s support would embolden the Islamist party’s effort on issues regarding Islam.
“Thank God he agrees that the issue of the Bill should not be politicised because it is the responsibility of all Muslims,” the party’s state commissioner Razman Zakaria was quoted in a separate report by Sinar Harian, after his two-hour visit to see Harussani.
Harussani became the second mufti to claim that it is compulsory for all Muslims to support Hadi’s Bill, following Kelantan mufti Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad who said so late last month.
Hadi’s Bill has also been called the “Hudud Bill” owing to belief that it will pave way for the enforcement of the Islamic penal law in states such as Terengganu and Kelantan, where such legislation exist but remain dormant due to constitutional barriers to their implementation.
It seeks to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355, to empower Islamic courts to enforce punishments ― 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.