Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Razak will have the final say on whether Umno would support PAS’ hudud bill to amend the existing syariah law if it comes up for debate in this Parliament session.
“Whether or not Umno supports it, it is entirely up to our president (Najib) and it would depend on the situation too,” Umno vice president and Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
Abdul Hadi had successfully tabled the hudud bill at the last Parliament meeting on May 26 but opted to postpone debating it to the present sitting, which began on Monday.
The private member’s bill tabled by Hadi did not come up for debate on Monday although it was listed as the fourth on the agenda.
Parliament was adjourned yesterday after the reading of the Advocates Ordinance (Sabah) (Amendments) Bill and there will be other government matters to be discussed over the next few days before the tabling of the Budget 2017 by Prime Minister and Finance Minister I Najib Razak this Friday.
Hadi was seen arriving in Parliament for the start of the meeting on Monday but he left at noon without speaking to newsmen.
PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan when met admitted that it may not be tabled.
“However, we still have 25 days for this Parliament meeting so we are hopeful,” said Takiyuddin.
PAS Youth chief Nik Abduh Nik Aziz urged the government to allow the bill to be debated.
“We urge the government to allow it to be tabled for debate as the people have been waiting months for it,” he said.
Amanah, an alleged DAP-sponsored party formed by a PAS splinter group, will table an alternative motion in similar mould in the current Parliament sitting to amend the syariah law.
The motion submitted by Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud to the House Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia last week is similar in principles to that of Hadi’s private member’s bill, said Amanah communications director Khalid Samad.
“Ours will be more acceptable as it will be more in line with the constitution,” the Shah Alam MP said.
Previously the private members bill had created uproar among BN component parties as MCA president Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong had threatened to resign from the cabinet should the bill be approved and implemented.
The private members bill is sought to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 to empower Islamic courts to enforce punishment, except for the death penalty, provided in syariah laws for Islamic offences listed under state jurisdiction in the Federal Constitution.