PAS to proceed with Hadi’s Bill despite lack of BN support

(The Star) – PAS will proceed with the tabling of the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act or RUU355 although it no longer receives the backing of the Government.

PAS Ulama chief Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed (pic) said he “expected” that such a decision would be made by Barisan Nasional.

“We actually saw this coming. We knew that Barisan would not table the Bill as they never instructed Umno to vote and support the Bill, moreover the non-Muslim component parties,” he told The Star Online.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had on Wednesday night announced that the Government would not take over the Private Member’s Bill to amend the Act.

The Prime Minister said the decision was in line with the principle of consensus in Barisan Nasional, adding that the Bill would remain a Private Member’s Bill if it is presented in the Dewan Rakyat.

Following this, Mahfodz said PAS would go back to its original plan, which is to allow PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who is also Marang MP, to table it in Parliament.

He said PAS had tried its best to work together with other parties in the interest of the people.

“We have tried to reduce our rivalry with Umno by practising mature politics. But it is now clear where Umno stands and this is not very surprising,” he said.

He conceded that it now looks impossible to have the Bill approved but believes that it is already an achievement that the Bill has made its way in Parliament.

“This is a step forward. We faced various difficulties in bringing the Bill to Parliament before, but now it is being allowed to be tabled and debated.

“Although we know that it is hard for us to win, this is already progress,” said Mahfodz.

Meanwhile, PAS Dewan Ulama information chief Nasrudin Hassan said the party is unfazed by Barisan’s decision.

He said the only difference whether it was tabled by the Government or PAS is how the Bill is arranged in the Parliament Order Paper.

“If it becomes the Government’s Bill, it will be made priority. If it remains a Private Member’s Bill, then the decision lies with the Speaker.

“We have always been on standby mode for the debate in Dewan Rakyat,” he said.