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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Najib: Govt won't table bill to amend Act 355



The BN supreme council has decided that the federal government will not take over and table the private member's bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdictions) Act or Act 355.
"Thus the bill will continue to be a private member's bill and it will be up to the speaker to decide.
"If the speaker decides to allow it then it will be tabled," Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who is also BN chairperson, said after the coalition's supreme council meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre today.
He said that his was inline with the coalition's practice of consensus.
Asked about his party Umno, which previously seemed very keen on the bill, Najib said consensus still applied when it comes to decisions.
"No, we all believe in the spirit of consensus. That is BN's way," he stressed.
Quizzed if this means that BN parliamentarians will not be supporting or voting for the bill when it is tabled, Najib said that first of all, it is up to the speaker to decide if it will even go to vote.
"Maybe there will be a vote, or not. Up to the speaker's instructions," he said.
Previously, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the government is looking to take over the bill, to the dismay of BN component parties, many of whom are opposed to it.

The motion to table the bill to amend Act 355 was first tabled by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang in last year's parliamentary seating, while it was allowed, the debate and voting for the motion was delayed until this seating at his own request.
The bill seeks to increase the penalties that the Syariah Courts can mete out, as well as expand its criminal jurisdictions over Muslims in criminal offences.
Some say this will allow states like Kelantan with existing hudud or Islamic penal code legislation to enforce harsher punishments and for more offences, as previously they were bound by restrictions in Act 355.- Mkini

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