Special committee set up to study security laws

Source: Borneo Post

KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry has set up a special committee to review existing laws, especially those in relation to national security which are allegedly contrary to human rights, its Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

Muhyiddin said the committee, which was set up last week, is chaired by the ministry’s Secretary-General Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim.

“We will look at and review the laws that come under the Home Ministry. Among those raised are the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA) and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA).

“Our goal is to determine in implementing domestic laws the people do not feel that they are being used  for political purposes, to punish certain parties due to differences in ideology and so on,” he said. Read more

Muhyiddin: Home ministry to review seven ‘unsuitable’ national security laws

Source: The Malay Mail

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speaks at the Department of Home Affairs in Putrajaya May 22, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

PUTRAJAYA, May 22 — The Home Ministry will review seven laws relating to national security which are no longer suitable in today’s landscape, said the new Home Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said these laws were the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, Sedition Act 1948, Peaceful Assembly Act 2012,  Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca), Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (Pota), and mandatory death sentence.

Muhyiddin said the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), non-governmental organisations and social activists would be asked to give their views on these laws.

“These laws will be reviewed and, if necessary, replaced. It will need a bit of time, but not up to five years until the next general election,” he told reporters when asked for the time needed to complete the review.

Muhyiddin was speaking at his first press conference as the new Home Minister after attending a briefing given by heads of departments and agencies under the ministry. — Bernama

Free minors held under security law, say parents, groups

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Sevan Doraisamy, Suaram, The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, December 1, 2017.

Suara Rakyat Malaysia executive director Sevan Doraisamy says the Prevention of Crime Act is clearly a tool for the police to arrest a person without conducting a proper investigation. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, December 1, 2017.

WHILE most 16-year-olds are going to school and enjoying life with family and friends, Ang Kian Kok spends his days lying down in his room or watching TV at home.

Ang never sets foot outside his home for two reasons: shame and fear. He is ashamed of the electronic monitoring device (EMD) he wears on his ankle which brands him as a detainee, and he is afraid of of getting arrested again if he should stray out of the 10km radius he is confined within.

The teenager was caught breaking into cars and in possession of stolen items.

Ang is one of 142 juveniles who have been arrested under the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca). He was earlier this year detained for 60 days, after which he was placed under Restricted Residence, which requires him to wear the EMD for two years. Read more

Why treat children like hardcore criminals, asks lawyer

Source: FMT News

There must be a better way for the authorities to handle children who commit criminal offences, says Paulsen. Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen has asked why the home ministry is treating children like hardcore criminals by detaining them under the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) and Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

He explained that these two laws are too harsh for children and are supposed to be used against serious offenders like terrorists or hardcore criminals.

“This is shocking. Surely there must be a better way for the authorities to handle these children who commit criminal offences. You can charge them under ordinary laws.

“Poca has detention without trial, which means somebody can be locked up for two years and another two years without evidence. It is similar to the Internal Security Act (ISA).

“As for Sosma, even though there is a trial, pending the trial, the child is not able to get bail. This can go on for many years,” he told FMT. Read more

Release all minors detained without trial immediately ― Suaram

Source: The Malay Mail Online

NOVEMBER 7 ― Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) is shocked by the revelation in Parliament that 142 minors were detained without trial under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) and 17 minors under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma). Suaram strongly condemns the existence and application of laws that permit detention without trial and demand for the immediate release of all minors detained under Sosma and Poca.

Reflecting on the gruesome allegations of torture and abuse suffered by detainees under Sosma and Poca; and the systematic use of solitary confinement for detainees under Sosma, Suaram is shocked that the Malaysian government consider it necessary for minors to be subjected to detention in these conditions under Sosma and Poca.

The government must provide an immediate answer to the public with regards to the condition of detention these minors are subjected to and provide clear answers as to why it was necessary for these minors to be detained under security provisions and not subjected to trial in the Court for Children outlined in Section 83(1) of the Child Act 2001. Read more

159 children among Sosma and Poca detainees, says home minister

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 ― A total of 159 children were among those detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca), Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

In a reply to DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago, Zahid said that under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (Pota) however, no children were detained.

“Seventeen children have been caught since the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, was gazetted and enforced. As for the Prevention of Crime Act 1959, 142 children were caught, whereas no children were detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act,” Zahid who is also deputy prime minister said. Read more

No excuse for Poca threat, say human rights groups

Source: FMT News

Paulsen: LFL is against all forms of preventive detention. Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Several human rights groups have criticised Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s warning that enforcement authorities will not hesitate to use preventive laws to detain those suspected of involvement in money-laundering activities.

The Citizen Action Group On Enforced Disappearance (CAGED), Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) and Bersih 2.0 agreed that a lack of witnesses or insufficient evidence was no excuse to put suspects under detention without a fair trial.

This came after Zahid said the police, in particular, would not compromise when acting against those who allegedly participate in illegal activities such as misusing bank accounts to make illicit payments.

“If there are no witnesses brave enough to provide information, or if there is insufficient evidence to press criminal charges against the suspects, the police will not be lenient in using the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca),” he was quoted as saying. Read more

Suhakam: Human rights defenders do not protect criminals

Source: FMT News

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail –File pic

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has put forth a definition of human rights defenders, two days after the deputy prime minister called them “wolves in sheep’s clothing who protect criminals”.

Suhakam chairman Razali Ismail said such individuals were people who work towards the realisation of rights and freedoms contained in the Federal Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights instruments through non-violent means.

“The efforts of human rights defenders contribute to positive societal change and play an important role in the establishment of the rule of law.

“They certainly cannot be said to be defending crime syndicates and criminals,” he said in a statement today. Read more

Amended POCA more effective in combating crime, DPM says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 15 ― The Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) 1959 has gone through a series of amendments for improvement to make it more effective in combating crime, especially organised crime and crime by syndicates using force and violence, and to be in tandem with current developments.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Home Minister, said POCA was enforced in 1959 in Peninsular Malaysia to control and prevent organised crime by criminals, members of secret societies and other undesirable individuals who threatened national security.

He said it was “refreshed” through the POCA (Amendment and Extension) 2014, which was more effective in combating violent acts of crime and in balancing the law with human rights, and also in line with the maintenance of national security and peace. Read more

POCA amendments will deny detainees chance to be heard, group says

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — Those arrested under the controversial Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) could find themselves detained without trial without even a chance to be heard under Putrajaya’s proposed law changes, a legal group cautioned.

Human rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) said the federal government’s proposed amendments to POCA will make the law — which enables detention without trial — even worse.

“In effect, after the amendments, the detainee will be gagged, with no opportunity to explain his side of the story, completely helpless and left at the mercy of the detention authorities.

“We therefore call on all parliamentarians to oppose these amendments as they would aggravate the already poor human rights record of Malaysia,” LFL’s executive director Eric Paulsen said in a statement today. Read more