BN will have ‘happy ending’ for all on Hadi’s Bill, Abdul Rahman says

Abdul Rahman Dahlan

(MMO) – Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan gave an assurance today that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government will ensure a “happy ending” to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s controversial private member’s Bill to strengthen the Shariah courts’ punitive powers.

Abdul Rahman, who is also BN’s strategic communications director, said concerns have been raised by the BN’s component parties and added that the ruling coalition’s stand on the issue will be based on consensus.

“Rest assured, Barisan Nasional respects everybody’s views within Barisan Nasional.

“We will come to a conclusion that is a happy ending for everybody,” he told reporters after launching a solid waste separation promotional programme at Kampung Limau here.

He said the motion to expedite Hadi’s private member’s Bill was an exercise in Parliamentary reform whereby opposition motions are given the opportunity to be heard in the Dewan Rakyat and debated.

The minister added that opponents of the move could not demand for parliamentary reforms but criticise Umno attempted to demonstrate this in supporting the PAS Bill.

“You can’t have your cake and eat it, too,” he said.

Hadi’s Bill seeking amendments to the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355 made a surprise appearance in the Dewan Rakyat last Thursday after Umno minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said tabled a motion to expedite it.

The motion was approved by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia but Hadi later requested for the Bill to be deferred for debate at the October parliamentary meeting.

Since then, non-Muslim politicians from both Pakatan Harapan and BN have lashed out at PAS and Umno, with some even accusing the ruling party of colluding with PAS to push for the implementation of hudud.

Both PAS and Umno have insisted, however, that Hadi’s Bill was not a hudud Bill but simply a Bill seeking amendments that would upgrade the Shariah courts’ powers to hand out harsher sentences.