(File pix) Pas secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said the debate should proceed based on procedures even though it could not be completed during the eight-day parliamentary session from Oct 23. Pix by Azhar Ramli

KOTA BARU: Pas today called on the parliament speaker to allow debate for its private member's bill on widening the powers of syariah courts at the upcoming Dewan Rakyat session.

Pas secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said the debate should proceed based on procedures even though it could not be completed during the eight-day parliamentary session from Oct 23.

“Pas holds the view that it is improper to hold back the debate for whatever reason. It is like a court trial that will only end with the decision by the judge," he said in a statement.

Takiyuddin said immediate step to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, or called RUU 355, through the bill was important to provide more powers to the courts.

“The syariah courts, which only apply on Muslims, now have low authority,” he said.

The bill was tabled by Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang on May 26 last year, aims to strengthen the powers of the syariah courts.

In April, the debate on the bill did not follow through after Parliament speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia adjourned the Dewan Rakyat sine die.

The bill proposed amendments to Section 2 of the Act include increasing the current "imprisonment of more than three years or fine of more than RM5,000, or more than six lashes" to "jail term of more than 30 years or fine more than RM100,000 or 100 lashes as administered in line with the syariah crimes".

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