Monday, January 14, 2019

Mat Sabu, Anwar, Kit Siang - U agree with Muhyiddin? No repeal of draconian laws?

Is Malaysia under our NEW PH government still going to take the position that some people will be TREATED differently from others - and mind you, these 'some people' are just SUSPECTS (people that the Malaysian police suspects...or the government suspects) of committing certain crimes... They will be denied some BASIC...FUNDAMENTAL Human Rights?

Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Mohamad bin Sabu(Mat Sabu), Hadi Awang are just some of the few names of persons that been victims of such laws - Detention Without Trial laws...

BACK TO  - What RIGHTS and 'protections' that prevent injustices are we willing to DENY some people when we resort to continue using POCA(and other Detention Without Trial laws?) and even SOSMA? Remember, these people are just SUSPECTS - NOT EVEN PERSONS FOUND GUILTY BY THE COURTS...and who suspects them...well, it is the police, enforcement agencies and the government ...

We want to DENY them the necessary safeguards put in place to prevent abuse ...more importantly to prevent injustice and removal of freedoms of the innocent(presumption of innocence until proven guilty) wrongly...we want to remove the right to be heard by these victims, judicial oversight and authority - a needed safeguard to prevent wrongdoing/mistakes by the police, authorities and the state..., the right to a fair trial...

RIGHT TO BE BROUGHT BEFORE A MAGISTRATE WITHIN 24 HOURS after arrest - the main object is to make sure no wrongdoing by the arresting/detaining authority - and, so NO FURTHER DETENTION until the Magistrate/Judge make sure of this - Remember, the Magistrate has the power to REFUSE further detention OR to allow further detention(specifying for how long). Eventhough, the maximum permissible detention for remand is generally not more than 14 days, Parliament, in its wisdom, even for serious crimes like murder, decided that no once off ordrs to detain someone for 14 days - police today can get only a maximum of 7 days - need more time, apply again to the Magistrate.(Remember, that if anyone unhappy with Magistrate's order, there is a right to bring the matter to a High Court Judge for revision/review...and this can happen immediately.
Our Malaysian Federal Constitution in Article 5(4), amongst others, ‘…(4) Where a person is arrested and not released he shall without unreasonable delay, and in any case within twenty-four hours (excluding the time of any necessary journey) be produced before a magistrate and shall not be further detained in custody without the magistrate’s authority…’.

Why produce before Magistrate? Why no further detention unless the Magistrate evaluates the situation and grant a remand order allowing further detention?

Well, blind trust on the police and/or enforcement authorities is dangerous - the potential for abuse of power is simply too great. What more with the many cases of alleged police torture, and deaths whilst in police custody?

Hence, JUDICIAL 'check and balance'...oversight...Right to be heard both to the police/detaining authority and the victim(the 'suspect'), who have a right to be represented by a lawyer. If the police wants to keep a person in further detention, the Magistrate needs to be is really needed for the purpose of investigation. Remember, nobody needs to be in detention for police to complete investigations ...example of case where this happened was the case of Najib, Rosmah.....police can simply release suspects and ask them to turn up at particular times for further investigations...

Police can always arrest and immediately charge a person - no need for prolonged detentions simply to complete investigations...again, we saw this happening in Najib's and many other recent cases..

REMEMBER these are just 'suspects'...and how many thousands of suspects are arrested, detained for days and later simply released without even being charged in court...

And also know that many who have been charged and tried get released after their trial...

Just relying on the police belief's is just foolish ...hence the need for an Independent Magistrate/Judge to review the situation and decide whether any further remand, more than  24 hours, is even needed...

If POCA relied on, the need to produce before a Magistrate within 24 hours is still there, but if POCA is going to be used, then they can get an 'automatic' remand order for 21 days, the Magistrate's duty to listen to both parties and evaluate the need for any further remand is simply removed by the production of a statement by an Inspector or above...

Under POCA, section 4(1)(a) states that ‘on production of a statement in writing signed by a police officer not below the rank of Inspector stating that there are grounds for believing that the name of that person should be entered on the Register, remand the person in police custody for a period of twenty-one days;

Hence, a mere Inspector can oust the Magistrate's powers resulting in a victim being detained for 21 days -  Right to be heard for the victim is no more...[Many think this is no big deal...but when it happens to you, your relative/parent or may have a change of mind...]

Now, POCA also further provide in section 4(2) that ‘Any person remanded under paragraph (1)(a) shall, unless sooner released, on or before the expiry of the period for which he is remanded be taken before a Magistrate, who shall-    (a) on production of- (i) a statement in writing signed by the Public Prosecutor stating that in his opinion sufficient evidence exists to justify the holding of an inquiry under section 9; and (ii) a statement in writing signed by a police officer not below the rank of Assistant Superintendent stating that it is intended to hold an inquiry into the case of that person under section 9,   order the person to be remanded in custody for a period of thirty-eight days;
If the police rely on SOSMA, then there is no more even the requirement for the police to bring the person arrested before the Magistrate within 24 hours. The police can simply continue to detain the ‘suspect’ for up to 28 days. 
So, will these victims get any COMPENSATION when the police release them after say 5 days or 51 days? Innocent people wrongly deprived their freedom...liberties..suffered much loss of income...maybe even and children would have also suffered. Time to have a law that provides COMPENSATION ...we have seen, it is mostly the poor who fall victims ...seldom the rich.

DETENTIONS by police causes people to lose jobs and/or income. Their families and children suffer...and really even money will never be a real compensation for the loss of liberty and sufferings these victims have gone through.

FAMILIES can be destroyed...

RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL ...right to be heard DENIED. If POCA(OR and Detention Without Trial used)..

Under POCA or DWT laws - the victim has no right to question the REASONS used to arrest, detain, etc... You cannot even go to court even if you have been wrongly arrested/detained...POCA(and Detention Without Trial laws) remove the court's power to look and see if the police/government's reasons for the arrest/detention is wrong...No judicial review - reasons cannot be reviewed/questioned.

Mat Sabu, Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Hadi Awang - should they have been detained under Detention Without Trial laws? Were they guilty? No - they were not guilty - never found guilty by a court of law after a FAIR TRIAL..

Now, POCA, for example is even worse because it can be used even for persons who are suspected of stealing a cow with several others...Previously POCA for gangsters and VIOLENT crimes can be used for even any crime in the Penal Code including also corruption...All the BN did was to get rid of those 'infamous' laws like ISA but simply to amend or introduce new similar Detention Without Trial laws that is so very wide...and they are so many people that continue to be victims...maybe not political personalities - but wrong is wrong even if politicians are not falling victims...

SOSMA list of offences - well, you get a trial BUT no bail until trial over, and worse is that it allows the use of evidence that will never be allowed in other criminal trials...

SHOULD WE NOT HAVE THE SAME STANDARDS AND RIGHTS FOR EVERYONE? This is why POCA and all Detention WITHOUT TRIAL laws must be repealed - not simply amended. That is why SOSMA too must be repealed...

I am shocked by the lack of protest from Anwar, Mat SABU, Kit Siang, Guan Eng, ...after Muhyiddin makes such an announcement at his political party's function...

Many Malaysians are feeling a growing disappointment with this new government of HOPE committed to justice and Rule of Law...when day after day...action of repealing bad laws is not happening as it should ...and in its place procrastination and excuses...Are principles and values being abandoned after they have managed to come into power?

Muhyiddin - not so smart or simply believes Malaysians are 'stupid' to accept his position that SOSMA and POCA is needed to curb gangsterism ...terrorism... - yes, this be the 'reason' now to backtrack on promises to repeal bad laws....

Time to review...time for consultation...all excuses because it has already been done, and the then Opposition before GE4 also committed to the repeal of bad, just REPEAL THESE LAWS - TREAT EVERYONE EQUALLY - FAIR TRIAL - SAME EVIDENTIAL STANDRADS AND REQUIREMENTS - MAINTAIN MAGISTRATE/JUDGES ROLE FOR DETENTIONS BEYOIND 24 HOURS...

Press Release

Government Must Fulfil Pledge to Abolish All Oppressive Laws

The Malaysian Bar is astounded by Minister of Home Affairs Tan Sri Dato’ Hj Muhyiddin Hj Mohd Yassin’s announcement that the Government has decided to retain the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (“SOSMA”) and the Prevention of Crime Act 2014 (“POCA”)..  We are also dismayed at his statements that without SOSMA, terrorists and criminals would be free to threaten our national security, and that “things are also still under control with two other security acts, the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA) and Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA)”. 

SOSMA and POCA are among the laws that the Pakatan Harapan Government had described as “oppressive” and “tyrannical” in its election manifesto for the 14th General Election that took place eight months ago.  In that manifesto, it had pledged to revoke POCA and abolish the draconian provisions in SOSMA.

The Malaysian Bar has, over the years, persistently and unequivocally called for the repeal of SOSMA and POCA.  These laws are notorious for having been abused in the past and, while they remain on the statute book, the potential for misuse — by any government, however well-intentioned — remains ever-present.

In our resolve to defend and preserve the harmony, peace and security that Malaysia enjoys, it is essential that the Government does not enjoy carte blanche to deprive persons of their constitutional rights and civil liberties with impunity.  At all times, the rule of law must be abided by, human rights must be respected and protected, and principles of natural justice must apply.  Failing this, any assurances by the Government in our “new Malaysia” would serve only to impart a false sense of security, as it is undeniable that oppressive laws can be used — and misused — so long as they are not repealed.    

There are sufficient laws to address the threats of crime and terrorism without the Government resorting to SOSMA and POCA, or any other authoritarian laws.  If need be, existing laws can be amended, or appropriate new laws enacted, to ensure that national security is not compromised.   Public trust and confidence in the Government must not be eroded.  

The Malaysian Bar calls upon the Government to demonstrate full commitment to its election manifesto, by abolishing all oppressive laws and draconian legislative provisions — including SOSMA and POCA — without further delay. 

George Varughese 
Malaysian Bar

5 January 2019

Sosma and Poca to stay, says Muhyiddin

Muhyiddin Yassin delivers his winding-up speech at the PPBM general assembly in Putrajaya.

PUTRAJAYA: Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today announced that the government would keep two security laws that had come under scrutiny from Pakatan Harapan leaders.
He said a special committee to look into the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act and the Prevention of Crime Act (Amendment), known by their acronyms Sosma and Poca, would be maintained, with some amendments.
“If the current laws are not maintained, there will be those who think they are free to do anything and threaten the country through gangsterism and terrorism,” Muhyiddin said in his speech at the PPBM general assembly today.
“That is why we use the current laws with police and other authorities implementing them fully,” he said.
The government had earlier imposed a moratorium on Sosma and Poca, as well as on two other laws criticised by rights groups as draconian, the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) and Sedition Act.
Since coming to power in the May polls, the government has assured that the four laws would be reviewed and if necessary abolished.
But early this month, the Cabinet agreed to allow police to probe the violence at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Selangor under these laws. - FMT News, 30/12/2018

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