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Umno president to have final say whether party supports Pas’ hudud-linked bill

KUALA LUMPUR: The Umno president will have the final say as to whether the party’s lawmakers will support Pas’ hudud-linked bill if it is tabled in Parliament, said Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“We will leave it to the president (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) to determine (Umno’s stand) based on the established situation,” said Zahid, who is Barisan Nasional (BN) deputy chairman.

Zahid, who is also the deputy prime minister, was speaking to reporters outside the Parliament lobby here today.

Yesterday, MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said BN had reached a consensus on the issue surrounding Pas’ hudud-linked bill.

Wee said the party had spoken to Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor on the matter during a meeting on Sept 23. Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang at the Parliament lobby yesterday refused to answer questions regarding the party’s private member’s bill that was aimed at expanding the power of the syariah courts.

Hadi’s motion was listed as item No. 4 in the Parliament’s Order Paper yesterday. Parti Amanah Negara (PAN) had also filed a motion on enhancing the syariah courts, similar to that of Hadi’s, last week.

The motion is expected to appear on the Parliament’s Order Paper after 14 days. PAN communications director Khalid Samad had said his party’s version of the bill was more coherent and detailed compared to Hadi’s.

BN component parties, MCA, Gerakan and MIC, had previously stated their stance against the bill.

MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong had threatened to resign from the cabinet should the bill be approved and implemented.

The bill sought to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 to empower Islamic courts to enforce punishment, except for the death penalty, provided in syariah laws for Islamic offences listed under state jurisdiction in the Federal Constitution.-nst

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