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Thursday, April 6, 2017

RUU355 debate deferred to next Parliament meeting

KUALA LUMPUR - Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has deferred debates on PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's Private Member's Bill, also known s RUU355, to the next Parliament sitting.

His decision Thursday drew loud protests from Opposition lawmakers who felt they were denied an opportunity to debate the Bill as Kota Baru PAS MP Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan was the sole lawmaker given a chance to speak in support of the Bill.

Pandikar, in making his ruling, said he was not bound by Standing Order 15, in respect of government bills.

"I would like to quote these words from a certain politician. He said, 'if you are in power, you are powerful. If you don't use your power, you are a bloody fool'.

"Therefore, I would like to use my power to defer the debates until the next session," he said.

Standing Order 15 states that on every sitting day government business shall have precedence over Private Members business.

The last of the government bills were debated and passed at 5am Thursday.

After Pandikar made his ruling, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said announced that the meeting was adjourned.

The Bill was first tabled by Abdul Hadi in May last year, seeking to grant the syariah court powers to impose stiffer penalties on all crimes except those with the death sentence.

It was then deferred to the next meeting in November last year, where Hadi read out an amended version of his Bill, where its tabling and debate was once again deferred to the current parliament sitting. - the Star

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