April 5, 2017
Speaker Pandikar Amin (NOT) Mulia gets notice of court action on tabling of Act 355
by Adrian Wong@www.malaysiakini.com
Civil Society Activist
Mr. Mohamed Tawfik Ismail, the son of former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, expects PAS not to table the controversial proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 in Parliament tomorrow.
This comes with him having served an originating summons to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, to make the entire tabling of the amendment to be sub judice.
“We do not expect the Act 355 amendment to be on the order paper for tomorrow,” Tawfik told reporters after serving the summons he obtained from the High Court, which he served on the speaker of the House.
His solicitor, Mansoor Saat, who was also present, explained that this would be so because the Speaker had set precedents in past matters that the issue of sub-judice would set in if a matter before the House is taken to court.
“Following the precedents in some other cases, similar with this issue, the amendments should not go into the Dewan Rakyat for the tabling,” Mansoor added.
Tawfik filed the originating summons in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur last Friday, to seek a declaration that the proposed Act 355 amendments were unconstitutional.
Tawfik explained at the press conference today that the move to table the amendments without the Malay rulers or Conference of Rulers’ giving the go-ahead would deem them unconstitutional. This is because the nine Malay rulers also head Islamic matters in their respective states.
“This move is taken to defend the country and the Federal Constitution. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong also has to defend the rule of law.
“For me, the court should make several declarations so that the amendments would not cause problems in the people’s thinking,” Tawfik said, adding that the application was filed in court last Friday and copies were served today to Pandikar (photo) and the Dewan Rakyat secretary.
He added that he was acting urgently on this matter, because Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said that PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang would be able to table the amendments on the last day of the Parliament sitting, which is tomorrow.
He said this was something of natural concern, and “we do not think that the proper procedures have been followed in Parliament”.
‘Must always abide by the constitution’
Tawfik added that he had sent several letters on the matter, and even to the Keeper of the Rulers Seal to ascertain if the Malay rulers had given their approval to the controversial bill or otherwise.
“We already sent another notice to remind the ‘Speaker last week, and he didn’t respond. So we have no choice but serve the originating summons today.
“We wrote to the rulers before the Rulers’ Conference in March. And the amendments did not get any acknowledgement of approval from them.We are also concerned because the government too wanted to table its own bill on the same basis. But if the government did not have the consent of the rulers, then how? We must always abide by the constitution,” he said.
Najib Razak is playing with Islamic Fire and will be burnt politically
“I hope the Prime Minister (Najib Abdul Razak) feels the same on this. Maybe, due to political reasons, he has been caught. If Abdul Hadi does it the proper way, by getting the rulers first of all to agree, then nobody would have an issue of its constitutionality. We are not attacking the philosophy behind this bill, because it is not religious as far as I am concerned. This concerns a matter of rule of law,” Tawfik explained.