KUALA LUMPUR – Dato’ Seri Haji Mohd Shafie Apdal Wednesday announced that he will not vote for PAS’ hudud-linked bill if it is tabled in Parliament later this month.
The Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president was quoted in NST online as saying what is important is that the requirements of Sabahans are met.
“I won’t vote for it. My stand is very clear, just like Sarawak,” Shafie was quoted as telling reporters outside the Parliament lobby here Wednesday.
The Semporna MP has his deputy, Darell Leiking (Penampang) for company.
Several Sarawak lawmakers had, in the past, similarly made a firm stand in disagreeing with the passage of the proposed amendments touted as the “hudud bill”.
United Sabah People’s Party president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup in May cautioned the government that Sabahans and Sarawakians may demand to split from peninsular Malaysia if the proposed amendments to Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 were passed in Parliament.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong had both threatened to quit their cabinet positions should the bill be passed.
In May, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said tabled a motion to expedite the tabling of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill in Parliament to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965.
However, Hadi had surprisingly requested it to be deferred for debate at the next parliamentary meeting, which started this month.
The Bill seeks to empower Syariah courts to enforce punishments ― except for the death penalty ― provided in Syariah laws for Islamic offences listed under state jurisdiction in the Federal Constitution, without elaborating on the nature of the punishments.
Syariah court punishments are currently limited to jail terms not exceeding three years, or whipping of not more than six strokes, or fines of not more than RM5,000.
The bill was No. 4 in the Parliament’s Order Paper on Monday, but has slipped to No. 7 Tuesday after being taken over by a string of government bills.
It is listed as No. 6 in the Order Paper for Wednesday.