The government did not directly table a bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) because of procedures, which includes getting a consensus from all 14 states, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Jamil Khir Baharom.
Jamil Khir said this is the reason for the government picking up PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang's Private Member's Bill to amend Act 355 instead.
"Why (Hadi's) Private Member's Bill? Why didn't the government table it directly? Because we have restrictions, our standard operating procedures.
"If the government brought the bill, we need a consensus from 14 states brought to the cabinet, then to the National Islamic Council and then to the Rulers Conference.
"You can't bring it to the Rulers Conference if you don't have consensus from 14 states, but a private member's bill requires only one state or one person to table it," Jamil said.
He said this while answering questions at the Umno Overseas Club annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur today, on why the government did not table the bill itself.
Hadi in November read out a revised version of his Private Member's Bill to amend Act 355 in Parliament.
A week later at the Umno general assembly, party president and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announced the government will be taking over Hadi's bill.
Hadi first tabled his bill last year to remove the final obstacle to Kelantan's hudud enactment, passed at the state assembly.
[More to follow]