KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz claimed Umno’s cooperation with PAS on its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s Bill to enhance Shariah courts can be considered a favour after the Islamist party “failed” to create an Islamic state in Kelantan.
Despite that, the tourism and culture minister was reported saying in English daily The Star today that the possibility of Umno working with the Islamist party may only arise under a “common ground” between both parties.
“Why do I say they failed? Because they are asking for more severe punishments.
“If PAS had succeeded, he would have asked for lesser sentences because no one would be committing offences anymore, so Umno is helping PAS in this,” he was quoted as saying, referring to Hadi.
However, Nazri reportedly said that Umno will not work PAS during elections, citing that members from both parties would not agree for such collaboration.
“PAS is a political party, Umno is a political party. Both are contesting for the same seats,” he said.
Secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan yesterday said that Hadi’s Bill will not be used in Kelantan, nor in other states.
He pointed that it was up to each state to accept the private member’s Bill if it is passed in the Parliament in the next sitting.
The Kelantan state legislative assembly passed in March 2015 amendments to the Shariah Criminal Code (II) Enactment, which was first introduced in the state in 1993, to pave way for the implementation of hudud.
Hadi read Thursday his motion for the amended version of his private member’s Bill to amend Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355, in a bid to expand the punitive powers of the Shariah courts, but he deferred it to the next time Parliament convenes in 2017.
The amended version of Hadi’s Bill seeks to increase the Shariah punishment ceiling to 30 years’ prison, a RM100,000 fine and 100 lashes of the cane.
Shariah courts are currently only allowed to mete out a three-year jail sentence, a RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the cane.