Thursday, June 2, 2016

Hadi: We negotiated with Federal to table Bill

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Datuk Seri Hadi Awang has admitted that negotiations were held between the Kelantan and Federal governments for his Private Member’s Bill on Syariah court amendments to be read in Parliament.

Hadi, who is PAS president, said, however, the priority during the negotiations was only to allow for the bill to be read in Parliament.

“It's just about reading out the law, not passing it or even debating it,” Hadi told reporters at the party’s annual general meeting on Thursday.

Hadi said as an Islamist leader he was obliged to push for the reading of the bill as Islam was slowly becoming a “restricted religion” in the nation.

“Yes, PAS and the Kelantan state government negotiated with the ruling government for the reading to take place.

“It is to improve and enforce the position of the Syariah court. Following independence, it was declared that Islam is the Federal religion and other religions are free (to be practiced).

“Now Islam has become restricted, that is not right and needs to be corrected,” he said, adding that the bill was about improving the status and the jurisdiction of the Syariah court and not its ability to mete sentences.

On May 26, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said had moved for the Bill to be brought forward in the Order Paper.

Hadi said the negotiations involved Umno members because the matter only concerned the Muslims.

“It does not involve non-Muslims at all, so why should DAP disturb us? The negotiations were dependant on individual views of a party.

“We (DAP and PAS) are both opposition but we have our own views and practices," he said adding that the second reading of the Bill would take place in the October meeting.

He explained that the law required that a minister table and approve a Bill before it can it be brought forward and read by the member.

Asked why the Federal government had a sudden change of heart in allowing the bill to be read out now after rejecting it three times, Hadi said it was because the negotiations were over improving the status of the Syariah court.

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