MACC panned for dressing Isa Samad, Penang exco as prisoners


Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) violated rights and procedures by dressing Tan Sri Isa Samad and a Penang lawmaker as detainees when presenting them in court, said a federal lawmaker.

PKR’s N. Surendran said accused individuals have the right to wear their own clothes while they remain on trial, and forcing them to publicly don attire reserved for prisoners was prejudicial to them.

“Being forced to wear these bright orange uniforms and being paraded thus in the court premises is humiliating to the arrested person and creates the perception that he is indeed a wrongdoer or criminal, even though the court has not pronounced guilt,” he said.

The Padang Serai MP pointed out the practice was both against Article 5 of the Federal Constitution that guarantees equality before the law as well as the commission’s own standard procedures.

Former Felda Global Ventures chairman Isa and Penang exco Phee Boon Poh were both brought to their respective remand applications wearing the MACC’s signature orange attire that denotes an inmate of the commission.Surendran further criticised the MACC for handcuffing Phee at his remand hearing, arguing that the state exco was clearly not a flight risk that needed to be restrained.

The practice of inappropriately dressing arrestees in lockup attire was raised in an Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission hearing on the custodial death of S. Balamurugan, when a lawyer said law enforcement agencies did so in breach of their own procedures.

Then, criminal lawyer Gerald Lazarus testified that police regularly used this to delay releasing arrestees following failed remand applications as the may argue that detainees may not be publicly seen in the purple jumpsuits assigned during detention.

Isa has been remanded five days for the MACC’s investigation on Felda Investment Corp while Phee has been released after a High Court set aside his earlier remand order.