THE Dewan Rakyat Speaker and secretary were served a legal letter today by former Umno MP Tawfik Ismail, who is seeking to declare the tabling of a bill to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, or RUU355, as unconstitutional.
The legal notice, on a suit filed by the former Sungai Benut MP on March 31, was given to a Parliament staff member after Tawfik and his solicitor were barred from entering the premises.
The notice was directed at Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia and the secretary of the house, Roosme Hamzah.
RUU355 is the controversial private member’s bill by PAS president and Marang MP Abdul Hadi Awang to amend the shariah courts to introduce heavier penalties.
It was reported that Tawfik – the son of Malaysia’s second deputy prime minister Ismail Abdul Rahman –was seeking 10 declarations and orders to stop the bill.
In his suit, he said Hadi’s bill had failed to follow parliamentary procedures and was flawed. He also said the speaker had allowed the motion to table the bill without first seeking the consent of the Rulers’ Conference.
Tawfik also said Roosme had wrongly accepted the bill, which did not conform with the standing orders requirement of the house.
He said Hadi’s motion would create a collateral jurisdiction affecting the national policy on criminal law and punishments under Islamic law.
This, he said, would make Muslims and non-Muslim citizens unequal under criminal law and its penalties.
Hadi is expected to table the bill, which has sparked heated debates and renewed worries over a possible return of PAS’ hudud ambitions, tomorrow. – April 5, 2017.