Sunday, October 29, 2023

Madpet wants police raids on entertainment businesses that smear women, foreigners stopped(NST)


Madpet wants police raids on entertainment businesses that smear women, foreigners stopped

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysians Against Death Penalty & Torture (Madpet) has demanded an end to police raid on entertainment outlets that unfairly tarnish the reputations of women and foreign nationals

In a statement yesterday, the group has called for a number of modifications to law enforcement procedures in order to uphold the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

One of the main concerns raised by Madpet is the public perception that often accompanies police raids on entertainment outlets, particularly those "controlled" by foreigners.

They argued that media reports, which frequently carry images and statements provided by the police, can create the impression that women and foreign nationals arrested in these raids are involved in illegal activities.

"Why did the police provide information to the media, knowing very well that these women may have not committed any crimes whatsoever?

"Presumption of innocence until the court, not the police, finds them guilty.

"If the business is illegal, then action must be taken against the owners of such businesses, but not against workers and other patrons of the business," said Madpet.

At the same time, the group stressed that the absence of follow-up news and information about whether these individuals were charged or found innocent only prolonged prejudice.

Foreign nationals who were unfamiliar with local laws and legal procedures might even plead guilty simply to expedite their return to their home countries, it said.

Madpet has suggested several key reforms to address these issues which included mandatory search warrants issued by judges before police raids to prevent potential abuse of power.

The group also recommended an end to defamatory practices that tarnish the reputation of those arrested during these raids, urging law enforcement to recognise the presumption of innocence.

Madpet also urged for a full disclosure about the outcomes of these arrests, whether the individuals were charged or found innocent, and if found innocent, a public apology should be issued in the media to correct the wrong public perception generated.

It also highlighted that prostitution was only illegal when a female offered her body for promiscuous sexual intercourse for hire.

Therefore, the group also called for the recognition of the right for individuals to deny urine and blood tests, with a court order being a prerequisite for such procedures.

It was previously reported that 84 foreign women believed to be guest relations officers (GROs) were arrested in a police raid at an entertainment centre in Bukit Bintang.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain said in a statement today that the entertainment centre did not possess a valid licence for its operations and misused a restaurant licence issued by Kuala Lumpur City Hall.

He said police conducted a urine test of 336 customers, 22 Malaysians GROs , 84 foreign GROs and found that six of the guests at the centre were positive for methamphetamine and ketamine abuse. - NST, 24/10/2023

See full statement:- 

Right to refuse Urine Tests - Warrant by Judge b4 Raids - End publicly suggesting women arrested are 'GROs' or Prostitutes?

Friday, October 27, 2023

When AG who discontinued Zahid's case gets appointed Chairman of a GLC - A question of public perception?

When Idrus Harun, the Public Prosecutor/Attorney General,  just before he ended his term in office, DISCONTINUED Zahid Hamidi's, the UMNO President and Anwar's Deputy Prime Minister, criminal case - that led to a Discharge Not Amounting to an Aquittal(DNAA), there was public anger and a lot of questions. Why was the case dis-continued after the prosecution had already managed to prove all the elements of the crimes in the 47 charges, which the court then call Zahid Hamidi to enter his Defence. When this happens, Zahid will be CONVICTED unless during the Defence stage, he is able to raise a Reasonable Doubt. A very ODD discontinuance of a criminal trial? Was there 'political pressure' by the PM or some in government? 

BUT, in yesterday's(15/9/2023) media report, the Prime Minister's comments are of  concern. - the charges against Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were "questionable" and not carried out professionally. "Was it 47? Every cheque is a charge. So the charge is questionable. Every cheque issued is a charge by itself, which does not necessarily seem to be professionally done," See .- Malaysia Now, 15/9/2023

Now, when Idrus Harun gets appointed as Chairman of Amanah Raya Berhad, which a wholly owned company, which reasonably comes under the Finance Ministry, where Anwar Ibrahim is the Finance Minister of Malaysia.

So, question arises - Was the appointment a 'pay-back' for the act of discontinuing the criminal case against Zahid Hamidi? Maybe YES, maybe NO. BUT, would not public perception be that it, that is the major issue.

 'The appointment creates a perception that he is being rewarded for his loyalty to the government leadership of the day,” he[Lawyer Shukor Ahmad] said.(FMT)

Lawyers and the Malaysian Bar has long called for the non-appointment of ex-judges to GLCs, government bodies or even companies after they retire. Why? This affect the perception  of independence of Judges when in office > was this required independence compromised because of a 'promise' of a future appointment? I and the Malaysian Bar have also called for a 'cooling off period' of maybe 3 years or more. Best, if these ex-judges never take on such positions that also comes with payment/benefits. [After all, judges still get their pensions).

In 2003, Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin, the former Chief Justice, being the head of the Malaysian Judiciary, retired from office, and soon after joined a law firm as a consultant.

Bar Council then said that “...when a judge retires and soon after joins a law firm, an area of serious concern that immediately presents itself is the perception that an offer to do so might have been made to the judge before his retirement, and discussions or negotiations on the same might have started or taken place while the judge was still serving on the bench; particularly if there is a short time lapse between the judge’s retirement and his joining the firm."

“This in turn gives rise to the question whether the independence of the judge could have in any way been influenced or compromised by the making of such an offer or the holding of such a discussion...”

In the said statement, the Bar Council went on to state that “in protection of that principle [Independence of the Judiciary], and after examining the experience of other jurisdictions, the Bar Council is of the view that there ought to be a lapse of a suitable period of time (which is often called a “cooling off” period) after a judge’s retirement before he may be permitted to practise law at the Bar..”.

When former Inspector General of Police, after his retirement, got appointed as Deputy Chairman of Genting. He retired at the end of 2018.

According to Genting's Annual Report 2017, Mohammed Hanif, 79, was appointed as deputy chairman on Feb 23, 1994. He was the IGP for 20 years before retiring in January 1994, having joined as an officer in 1959.

Thus, the issue of senior Ministry or government officers - Their being appointed to such positions raises doubts as to their independence and professionalism when they were in office which were task with law enforcement. Was these appointments a kind of 'pay back' for preferential treatment received by State or private enterprise? After all, they receive hefty pensions until death, so should they also be forbidden from taking up such positions, or imposed a 'cooling off' period?

Now, we have a Attorney General (also the Public Prosecutor) - He may have done no wrong, but the concern is PUBLIC PERCEPTION.

Zahid Hamidi, the president of UMNO and the BN Chair, was very important to Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Harapan after GE15, when PH failed to win enough seats, and Perikatan Nasional(BERSATU, PAS,..) despite the King's suggestion openly stated that they will not join PH to form a coalition government. Having limited choices, PH choose to form the government with BN(PH's main opponent for many GEs until GE15). As other MPs have since joined the coalition government, maybe there is no more the need for PH dependence on Zahid and BN.

Should Idrus Harun not resign as Chairman of Amanah Raya?

Should we have a Royal Commission of Inquiry for post-retirement conducts of Attorney General and senior government lawyers, Ministers and heads of civil service - as it can affect the public perception of the use or abuse of the office they previously held?

Another issue - is the security of tenure and pension rights. Idrus Harun was appointed AG/Public Prosecutor on a contract basis, hence the likelihood that he will not be getting pension rights. 

Should there be security of tenure PLUS pension rights for Attorney Generals and/or Public Prosecutors? 

See some earlier relevant posts:- 

Was PM's comments about Zahid Hamidi's case inappropriate? A personal opinion OK - but as PM?

AG Apandi Ali - Director of LUTH? Was this 'gratification' for how he dealt with criminal allegations against PM? Explain please.. 

AG Apandi Ali, being former senior judge, should really not be be appearing in court as lawyer for accussed or prosecution?

Serving Judges Must Not Be Considered Or Appointed As Attorney General, To Also Preserve The Independence Of The Judiciary(MADPET)

Mahathir and the judges - The Judiciary during the Mahathir era


Idrus insisted on seeking DNAA for Zahid before retiring, says PM

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim says ex-AG Idrus Harun did not want to ‘leave this responsibility’ to his successor.

Faisal Asyraf and Faiz Zainudin - 08 Sep 2023, 3:48pm

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said that if it were up to him, he would have preferred a later court date, after tomorrow’s Pulai and Simpang Jeram by-elections.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said former attorney-general (AG) Idrus Harun insisted on seeking a conditional discharge for deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi before his final day in office.

“The AG (Idrus) said the earliest date the court could set was on Sept 4, and Sept 5 was his last day (in office).

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“He (said) he didn’t want to leave this responsibility to his successor,” Anwar told reporters after Friday prayers.

Anwar said if it were up to him, he would have preferred a later court date, after tomorrow’s Pulai and Simpang Jeram by-elections.

Anwar once again denied having a hand in the court’s decision to grant Zahid a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) in his Yayasan Akalbudi case. 

"I myself sought an explanation from the AG. I don’t blame the people for seeking further explanation,” he said, adding that the presiding judge was satisfied with the 11 points put forward by the prosecution when it requested for the DNAA.

On calls for the separation of the public prosecutor’s office from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), Anwar said efforts are ongoing.

He said a proposal paper had been presented to the Cabinet a few months ago for approval on separating the two offices.

“We have even referred it to a parliamentary committee, and it (the separation of the two offices) would cost a lot of money. (But) if it has to be done, then it will be done.

“Please don’t suggest that it has not been decided. This government has made a decision but we cannot bulldoze it in a few weeks and we need a two-third’s majority to effect this reform,” he said.

On Monday, Bersih urged the prime minister to unveil a plan and schedule “this week” for the separation of the public prosecutor’s role from the AGC.

The electoral reform group said thorough recommendations had been drawn up previously on how the separation of powers could be done. “The only action left is to implement it,” it said.

It added that, until the separation is done, the AGC must refrain from withdrawing charges in high-profile cases. - FMT, 8/9/2023


Former AG Idrus Harun appointed as Amanah Raya chairman

KUALA LUMPUR: Former attorney general Tan Sri ldrus Harun has been appointed as the new chairman of Amanah Raya Bhd (AmanahRaya) effective from Oct 10.

Prior to his appointment, Idrus served as a deputy public prosecutor under several departments such as the Royal Customs & Excise Department and Prosecution Division of Attorney General's Chambers Malaysia.

He had also served as the Terengganu state legal advisor, senior federal counsel of the Election Commission of Malaysia and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, as well as a parliamentary draftsman.

Idrus was previously appointed as the solicitor general in April 2006 and later as the court of appeal judge in September 2014.

He was subsequently appointed as the federal court judge in November 2018 prior to his appointment as the AG of Malaysia from March 2020 up to his retirement in September 2023.

With his wealth of experience and judicial excellence, AmanahRaya is confident that Idrus will continue to propel the company to greater heights. - NST, 10/10/2023


Don’t appoint retiring judges, civil servants to GLCs immediately, says lawyer

Shukor Ahmad says this is to protect the independence of the office they once held, for good governance and to preserve the rule of law.
FMT Reporters - 14 Oct 2023, 9:00am

Former attorney-general Idrus Harun left his post on Sept 5 and was appointed chairman of Amanah Raya Berhad on Oct 10. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: A lawyer has suggested a “cooling-off” period be put in place before retired judges and top-ranked civil servants are allowed to take up appointments in government-linked companies.

Shukor Ahmad said the measure is necessary to protect the independence of the office they once held, promote good governance and preserve the rule of law.

“There must be an interval of at least three years before ex-judges and senior civil servants take up offers in government-linked entities,” he told FMT.

Shukor said this following the appointment of former Attorney-General (AG) Idrus Harun as Amanah Raya chairman, a government-linked company owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc), effective Oct 10.

Idrus, who was appointed AG in March 2020 on a contract basis, left the office on Sept 5.

“The appointment creates a perception that he is being rewarded for his loyalty to the government leadership of the day,” he said.

Shukor said that about 20 years ago, there was a brouhaha in the legal fraternity after a chief justice was appointed consultant in a prominent legal firm soon after his retirement.

“The question posed at the time was whether negotiations were conducted when the judge was still in office,” he said.

Similarly, in Idrus’s case, the propriety of his appointment has come under scrutiny since he was also the public prosecutor.

Shukor said the public did not mind if a retired judge or senior legal officer went into private practice upon retiring.

He said in 2013, the Federal Court ruled that retired judge Gopal Sri Ram could practice law as Article 5 of the Federal Constitution guarantees the right of a citizen to earn a living.

Meanwhile, lawyer Rafique Rashid Ali said the optics did not look good on Idrus and the government as the former had been appointed too soon after his contract expired.

“The public cannot be faulted for having a negative perception of the appointment as Idrus went on silent mode when Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) just one day before he left office,” he said.

Zahid was facing 47 charges, 12 of which were for criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and the remainder for money laundering.

On Sept 4, Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah granted the prosecution’s request for a DNAA in Zahid’s favour after a prima facie case had been proven and while the defence case was ongoing.

Rafique said Idrus was drawing two pensions as a retired solicitor-general and a retired Federal Court judge.

“He should have honourably declined the appointment as he did not show any accountability in Zahid’s case. His livelihood upon retirement is also not at stake,” he said. - FMT

Lawyer moots ‘cooling-off period’ before ex-govt officials return to industry they once headed

This is already the practice in many countries as part of good governance and anti-corruption measures.

Fazreen Kamal
2 minute read
A pedestrian checks his phone outside the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission office in Kuala Lumpur. Concerns have been raised over a possible conflict of interest in the former MACC chief acting as defence council in a money laundering case.
A pedestrian checks his phone outside the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission office in Kuala Lumpur. Concerns have been raised over a possible conflict of interest in the former MACC chief acting as defence council in a money laundering case.

A senior lawyer has proposed that former civil servants who once held top posts undergo a cooling-off period before returning to the private sector to work in industries which used to be under their jurisdiction.

“This is to avoid any perception that someone is unfairly or unjustly leveraging contacts made or information gained during his time as a civil servant for personal gain,” Andrew Khoo, who is also the co-chair of the Malaysian Bar’s Constitutional Law Committee, told MalaysiaNow.

He was responding to a report that a former top anti-corruption officer is now part of the defence team for a politician charged with money laundering.

Earlier this week, Dzulkifli Ahmad, who served as chief commissioner for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission from 2016 to 2018, was named as part of the defence counsel for former Felda chairman Shahrir Samad in the latter’s money laundering case.

Shahrir, the former Johor Bahru MP, faces a charge of money laundering for failing to declare his actual income in 2013 when he received RM1 million from former prime minister Najib Razak, money which MACC said was linked to troubled state firm 1MDB.

Dzulkifli was also in charge of a unit placed under the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) when it was involved in the 2015 1MDB investigation, which was short-lived.

He also headed the AGC’s unit to fight money laundering, the same crime with which Shahrir is charged.

Dzulkifli’s role in Shahrir’s case has raised questions of a potential conflict of interest.

“He puts himself in a clear conflict of interest as the defence lawyer to Shahrir, as he would have confidential and privileged information which came to him during the time he was in the AGC, and subsequently as chief commissioner of MACC,” a lawyer had told MalaysiaNow on condition of anonymity.

Khoo agreed there was potential for conflict of interest in former senior officials from jurisdictional bodies joining the private sector, although this is not illegal.

He said in Dzulkifli’s case, it is the right of a solicitor to choose whom he represents.

But he added: “There are professional rules about conflict of interest and the requirement for an advocate and solicitor to not place himself in a position of conflict or potential embarrassment.

“This could arise if an advocate and solicitor is privy to information about his client that was obtained while he was in a different capacity.”

He said one solution is to institute rules to ensure that “a sufficient period of time elapses between leaving government service and working in a company or enterprise in the similar sector”.

“This is done in many countries as part of good governance and anti-corruption measures and practices,” he added.

Khoo said concerns of conflict of interest could arise in the case of retired judges returning to practise law, or former civil servants becoming directors or consultants in companies involved in the same industry where they had held positions in the government.

Abolish Detention Without Trial Law To Prove That PM Anwar Ibrahim Led-Government Is Truly Committed To Justice, Human Rights And Rule Of Law(MADPET)


Media Statement – 27/10/2023

Abolish Detention Without Trial Law To Prove That PM Anwar Ibrahim Led-Government Is Truly Committed To Justice, Human Rights And Rule Of Law

If someone commits a crime, then arrest, detain, charge them and give them a Fair Trial

On 27th October, the Malaysian Day for the Abolition of the Detention Without Trial Laws,  we recall the infamous abuse of Detention Without Trial(DWT) laws in Malaysia when on 27/10/1987, about 106 persons from all walks of life, including human rights defenders(HRDs), politicians( like Mohamad Sabu, Khalid Samad, Lim Guan Eng, Lim Kit Siang and late Karpal Singh), academics, worker rights activist, women HRDs and others were arrested and detained under the Internal Security Act 1960(ISA).

ISA abolished but Detention Without Trial laws became worse after that

2 of these DWT laws, being the ISA and the Emergency (Public Order and Crimes Prevention) Ordinance 1969 has since been abolished around 2012 thanks to amongst others, public protest and campaign. However, one DWT law remained to this day being the Dangerous Drugs Act (Special Preventive Measures) 1985.

But after the abolition of these 2 draconian DWT laws, Malaysia enacted a new DWT law being the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA), and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA) was amended to become a DWT law.

The scope of DWT laws now in Malaysia is now so much broader, and allows the administration to arrest, and then detain indefinitely, or impose restrictions indefinitely on anyone without according the fundamental right to a fair trial – hence, the victims are unconvicted  innocent persons, and as such it is in violation of the legal principle of presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

One must not be swayed by the names of any given DWT law, as they all can be used against anyone, irrespective of whether they were involved in terrorism, serious crimes or drug offences. After all, there is no way to verify what the police or government alleges, as victims are not accorded a trial, and they cannot even apply for a Judicial Review to confirm the validity of the ‘reasons’ given by the authorities to take action under any specific DWT law.  

Right to Fair Trial Denied

Article 11(1) United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states ‘Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.’

In Malaysia, the police or other law enforcement can arrest persons as suspects who may have committed a crime and can only detain for no longer than 24 hours for purposes of investigation only.

Article 5(4) of the Federal Constitution states, that  ‘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…’

The reason for this is that it is foolish to blindly trust the police or the government, and hence the need for a remand application and order by the Magistrate for any further detention beyond 24 hours.

The suspect has a right to be heard at remand hearings, and the Magistrate determines whether there really is a need for any further detention for the purpose of investigation, not any other purpose. The Magistrate determines whether the law is being complied with by the police, that there is no torture or any other wrong doing by the police.

If satisfied of the need for further remand, then and only then will the  Magistrate gives a remand order, and today  ‘(a) if the offence which is being investigated is punishable with imprisonment of less than fourteen years, the detention shall not be more than four days on the first application and shall not be more than three days on the second application; or (b) if the offence which is being investigated is punishable with death or imprisonment of fourteen years or more, the detention shall not be more than seven days on the first application and shall not be more than seven days on the second application…’(Section 117(2) Criminal Procedure Code)

DWT laws usurp judicial role of Magistrate in Remand Hearings

However, under DWT laws like POCA for example, when brought before the Magistrate, there is no real remand hearing, and the right of the suspect to be heard is denied. Before the magistrate, ‘Section 4(1)(a) POCA 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’.

After 21 days, to extend remand for another 38 days remand, all that is required is the  production of ‘4(2)(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 ….’ 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…’

Judicial authority and discretion of the Magistrate in remand application hearings is removed, so there can be no consideration as to whether the police has abused their powers or broken laws, and whether further detention is really needed at all.

The Magistrate has no choice on production police statements of belief but to order remand for 21 days. Even in the face of obvious evidence of torture or abuse, the Magistrate can do nothing about it.

Right to Judicial Review of reasons justifying detention/restrictions denied

In criminal matters, after the remand, the suspect will be charged in court and accorded a fair trial before an independent judge, but in DWT laws, there is no charge and no trial. After a criminal trial, if dissatisfied, you may appeal to higher courts, and in Malaysia, there is a right of 2 appeals – but in DWT laws, there is no trial and no right of 2 appeals.

Whereas, with DWT laws, the decision is made by a Board/Minister NOT  Courts and Judges.

In fact DWT laws do specifically deny the right to challenge the REASONS the government use to detain/restrict you. You can only challenge the procedure – whether the steps taken as required by law that lead to the Board’s decision was complied with.

15B(1) states ‘ (1) There shall be no judicial review in any court of, and no court shall have or exercise any jurisdiction in respect of, any act done or decision made by the Board in the exercise of its discretionary power in accordance with this Act, except in regard to any question on compliance with any procedural requirement in this Act governing such act or decision.’

It is absurd as in Malaysia, generally all Minister’s and even the Prime Minister’s decisions are subject to judicial review, so there is no justification why the decisions of the Board/Minister under DWT laws are excluded?

Right to Habeas Corpus denied

Article 5(2) Federal Constitution states, ‘Where complaint is made to a High Court or any judge thereof that a person is being unlawfully detained the court shall inquire into the complaint and, unless satisfied that the detention is lawful, shall order him to be produced before the court and release him.’ – this is commonly known as the habeas corpus application, but the DWT laws does not allow any such application, which is in clear violation of the Article 5(2) constitutional guarantee.

Inconsistent with the just principles of the administration of criminal justice

In short, DWT is in conflict with standards, norms and principles of the administration of criminal justice in Malaysia. Thus, anyone, even the innocent, can be arrested, detained and even restricted for as long as the government decides without any Fair Trial, Right of Appeal or any recourse to court to challenge the reasons for his/her loss of liberty.

Easy for Police as No Need to Prove Guilt – Miscarriage of Justice?

DWT laws do not require the police/prosecutor to even obtain evidence or sufficient evidence to prove to the Board/Minister or court that a person has committed a crime beyond reasonable doubt. Are our police/prosecution not competent enough to go to court and prove that he/she is guilty of a crime?

‘Punishment’ for acts that may not be a criminal offence in Malaysia

In fact, there seem to be no need to even state the specific offence one under DWT laws is being ‘punished’ for. Hence, is it not in violation of the principle that no one can be arrested, detained or ‘punished’ for something that is not even a legally recognized criminal offence in Malaysia.

It violates Article 7(1) Federal Constitution, which states ‘(1) No person shall be punished for an act or omission which was not punishable by law when it was done or made, and no person shall suffer greater punishment for an offence than was prescribed by law at the time it was committed.’ An offence must be clear and precise, and stipulates the sentence if convicted. It cannot be vague and general.

No DEFINITE period of ‘punishment’ – Grossly Unjust

In the administration of criminal justice, on conviction, one is sentenced to a definite period of imprisonment, or other punishment. But, with DWT laws, there is nothing definite about the period of detention or restrictions, for it is indefinite.

In terms of Detention. ‘a detention order for a period not exceeding two years, and may renew any such detention order for a further period not exceeding two years at a time, if it is satisfied that such detention is necessary.’.

Another example is police supervision orders, where again it can be ‘… any period not exceeding five years if the Board is satisfied that it is necessary… and may renew any such order for a further period not exceeding five years at a time…’

Hence, for DWT the loss of liberty, by reason of detention and other restriction is NOT DEFINITE ..and goes on so long as deemed necessary, and this is a serious injustice, more so for persons denied a Fair Trial and who have never been found guilty by court. A person is a victim – not a convicted criminal when DWT laws are used.

DWT laws is a tool of oppression of unjust governments that allows them to arrest, detain and restrict anyone, without the right to a fair trial, and without the ability to go for Judicial Review. The question now is whether this current Pakatan Harapan led-government of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is a government that is committed to justice and the Rule of Law will speedily repeal detention without trial laws or not.

It is true that prominent politicians, human rights defenders and persons have not become victims of these DWT laws for some time, but the fact is that many persons in Malaysia continue to be victims of this draconian law. In March 2023, the Minister revealed that 132 were detained under POCA, but no disclosure of the numbers detained under POTA or the DD(SPM)A. Neither was there disclosure as to how many were confined like the people of Gaza to a town or District, or those under other restrictions/conditions under DWT laws.(Star, 7/3/2023)

So, is the government committed to justice for ALL, or will it simply be a hypocrite and retain these draconian laws. It is sad that some Members of Parliament (MPs) and politicians today absurdly believe that DWT laws and other draconian laws are still needed for the police to curb crime.

MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty And Torture) reiterates the call for the abolition of all Detention Without Trial Laws including Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA), Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA) and Dangerous Drugs Act (Special Preventive Measures) 1985.

MADPET calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all victims of DWT laws that are currently detained, restricted and under police supervision. If they really committed any criminal offence, then charge them in court and accord them a fair trial.

MADPET also calls for the repeal of the draconian Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), which is not a Detention Without Trial law, as persons arrested for SOSMA listed offences will be charged and tried in court.

Charles Hector

For and on behalf of MADPET(Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)



Hundreds held under Sosma, Poca and Pota last year

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KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 624 individuals were detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) last year, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (pic).

The Home Minister added that 140 of these detainees had already been released.

“Of those detained, 71 were charged in court, 401 were punished, 140 were released and 12 are still under investigation,” he said in a written reply to a question by Chow Yu Hui (PH-Raub) in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Chow had asked about the number of those detained under Sosma, as well as the breakdown of their race and ages.

He also enquired about the number of those detained under the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota).

Last month, Saifuddin Nasution, in a written reply to RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong), said Sosma was still a relevant law to maintain national security because it allows the police to take immediate action to defuse any threats to national sovereignty and harmony.

Repealing Sosma was not among the pledges in Pakatan Harapan’s GE15 election manifesto, though several DAP leaders had previously criticised Sosma as having draconian provisions.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin Nasution said those detained under Sosma last year were between 18 and 69 years old and included 247 Malays, 83 Chinese, 89 Indians, 47 of other races and 158 foreigners.

On Poca, Saifuddin said that 132 individuals were detained, of which 67 were Malays, 13 Chinese, 38 Indians, 13 of other races and one foreigner.

He said those detained were between 19 and 59 years old.

Poca, which was amended in 2015, is a preventative law to deal with criminals, particularly members of secret societies, terrorists and other undesirable persons.

Saifuddin Nasution said that only one individual, a Malay, was detained under Pota and is currently under a detention order.

Pota, which was passed in April 2015, allowed authorities to take action against Malaysians suspected of being involved with the Islamic State or other terrorist organisations.

To a written question by Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan (PN-Tasek Gelugor), Saifuddin said that as of Jan 30 this year, 195 individuals were detained under Sosma and are currently undergoing trial.

Of this total, 46 were for smuggling and human trafficking, two for terrorism and 147 for organised crime under the Penal Code. - Star, 7/3/2023