KUALA LUMPUR: The Parliament Speaker will be committing treason if he proceeds to allow the tabling of the Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act, says pro-moderation activist Mohamed Tawfik Ismail (pic).
The motion, which was moved to first place in the Parliament Order Paper on Thursday, has become the subject matter of a lawsuit between Tawfik and Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and House secretary Datuk Roosme Hamzah.
"Today is a sad day for Malaysians. Today Parliament is dead.
“Parliament is dead when the Speaker – who took an oath to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution – betrays the very oath he has taken.
"The Speaker is disregarding the Constitution and ignoring the Ruler's Conference rights to be consulted before the promulgation of any laws that will divide us as a nation.
"For the Speaker to bump Hadi's Motion and place it at No. 1 in the Order Paper is arrogance of the highest order.
"Today, the Speaker of Parliament commits treason if he disregards the matters we have brought to his attention," he said in a statement Thursday morning.
Last Friday, Tawfik, 66, filed a suit seeking to declare PAS’ Private Member’s Bill as unconstitutional and that it flouted Parliament procedures.
Tawfik said the Dewan’s decision to allow a motion to table the Bill by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang also ran in contempt of the Rulers’ Conference as prior consent was not obtained.
The former Umno MP and son of Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, the country’s second deputy prime minister, filed the court papers on March 31.
Tawfik is seeking 10 declarations and orders that would effectively stop the tabling of the Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act.
His reasons for suing are that Pandikar and Roosme had breached the Standing Orders of the House and were in contempt of the Rulers’ Conference when they allowed the Bill to be tabled without first getting the Rulers’ consent.
In the originating summons, Tawfik said that the defendants act had also desecrated and degraded the dignity and constitutional functions of the Rulers as a constitutional monarchy to “merely having a ceremonial function. ”
He claims that the Bill had been wrongly accepted by Roosme as it did not conform with the Dewan’s Standing Order requirement.
As such he is also seeking a declaration that the motion to table the Bill was equally flawed.
He is seeking an order to set aside Pandikar’s decision of allowing the Bill to be tabled at the Dewan this session.
He is seeking a declaration that Roosme had acted wrongfully in inserting the motion into the Dewan’s order paper in the current session.
He said Hadi’s motion have and will create a collateral jurisdiction which affects the national policy on criminal law and punishment under Islamic law, and that this would affect Muslim and non-Muslim citizens as well as Muslim residents here.
He said these group of people are set to be exposed to inequality under the criminal law and its punishment.
The Bill was first tabled by Abdul Hadi last May, seeking to grant the Syariah court powers to impose stiffer penalties on all crimes except those with the death sentence.