KUALA LUMPUR: Pas' hope of seeing parliamentary debate today on the Private Member's Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 was dashed.
The party's secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan expressed disappointment over the matter but supported the decision by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.
"The amendment (to Act 355) can only be made after debate and voting (by Members of Parliament), then the Bill can be taken over by the government. That is the procedure.
"In conclusion, we have raised the issue. I am satisfied with the explanation by Tan Sri Speaker (Pandikar Amin).
"Tan Sri (during today's Dewan Rakyat sitting) had mentioned that Marang (Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, who is also Pas president) had carried out his responsibility well. We have carried out our duty.
"As the one to bring the Bill, Pas is ready to listen to debate and views from others, including non-Muslim MPs.
"We are ready to exchange thoughts and opinions if the debate had been allowed," he told the media in Parliament here today following adjournment of the 13th Parliament as the 14th General Election looms.
Earlier during Dewan Rakyat proceedings today, Takiyuddin (Pas-Kota Baru) had raised the issue as the Bill had sat in second position of motions listed in Parliament.
In the past, Hadi had proposed an amendment to the Act via the Private Member's Bill.
The proposal is to amend the Act by increasing the existing penalties of maximum three years' jail, fine not exceeding RM5,000, or maximum six rotan strokes.
The Private Members Bill proposed for the penalties be increased to maximum 30 years' jail, fine up to RM100,000, or whipping not more than 100 times.
Tamiyuddin said that he is now unsure what would happen to the Private Member's Bill, whether it would be carried on to the 14th Parliament proceedings or not.
"From our experience, a motion raised during the 12th Parliament, had been brought forward to the 13th Parliament. So whoever becomes the next government, if Pas becomes the government then definitely it (Private Member's Bill) would come up (in the 14th Parliament).
"Whoever becomes the government must be fair to everybody.
"What is important is that we dispel confusion sowed by certain quarters seeking publicity on claims that we failed to carry out our responsibility (to uphold Islam and bring the Private Member's Bill to Parliament)," he said.
*Reports by: HIDIR REDUAN, IDRIS MUSA, NOR AIN MOHAMED RADHI, and SITI NUR MAS ERAH AMRAN