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Thursday, 24 November 2016

ASLI's Chairman opposes Hadi Awang Private Members Bill


Asli chairman raises concern over Hadi's Bill
THE STAR





PETALING JAYA: Asli Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam (pic) has urged policymakers to protect the rights of all Malaysians in light of new developments to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's Private Member's Bill.

"I think that the Government should recognise that they represent all Malaysians - Muslims and non-Muslims alike," he said on Wednesday evening.

"What we have in our constitution and what was the good faith of our founding fathers should be defended and continued," he said.

"There is no need to change the existing system where you have some syariah laws and civil law dominates," he said, adding that the religious rights of all must be preserved and protected as provided for in the Federal Constitution.



Addressing PAS' promise that the Bill only affects Muslims, Navaratnam said that there was no guarantee that the policy would remain that way.

"You cannot accept that as an assurance because governments and leaders come and go. They may have different interpretations. The constitution is there. Now they are trying to change it. How can we take them seriously?"

Abdul Hadi is expected to make further adjustments to the Private Member's Bill for proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday.

The Bill is aimed at expanding the current powers of the Syariah Court.

Earlier, Kuala Nerus PAS MP Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said he was confident that the motion, which would be tabled for the second time, would be debated and put to vote on the same day.

He revealed that the adjustment would involve increasing penalties that can be meted out by Syariah courts, but with limits on maximum punishments.

He said this was requested by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom during a briefing with Muslim lawmakers on Hadi's Bill on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi held a closed door discussion with Muslim MPs explaining the Bill.

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