The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) express our concern at the tabling of the Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, to increase the punishments meted out by Syariah courts.
We are concerned of the manner in which this Private Members’ Bill was tabled in Parliament. JAG urges the government and the other parties involved to give full regard to the democratic way which we must observe in putting forward any legislation, particularly where the public has significant concerns.
Considering the level of debate this has generated in the public sphere, JAG requests that any future tabling of this Private Members’ Bill or anything akin to it go through a thorough process which accords full and fair transparency and debate prior to its tabling in Parliament. It is our right as citizens of this country to be given our opportunity to present our views on a legislation that will have deep impact on our society in the future.