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

Malaysia extends controversial security law that allows for 28 days of detention without charge

Source: South East Asia Globe

Bersih Chairman Maria Chin Abdullah looks on during the Bersih 5.0 rally press conference at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 17 November 2016. She was arrested and detained under SOSMA the following day. Photo by Fazry Ismail for EPA.

Bersih Chairman Maria Chin Abdullah looks on during the Bersih 5.0 rally press conference at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 17 November 2016. She was arrested and detained under SOSMA the following day. Photo by Fazry Ismail for EPA.

Malaysia’s House of Representatives voted to extend the law for 5 years amid a debate over whether it’s a necessary tool to combat terrorism or an aggressive assault on civil liberties.

Malaysian authorities will be allowed to detain individuals suspected of committing “security offences” for 28 days without charge until at least mid-2022, after the House of Representatives, or Dewan Rakyat, voted in favour of extending a controversial security law last night.

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed proposed the extension of the sub-section in the country’s Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), ostensibly to give police more time to carry out thorough investigations.

The house passed the motion with 93 votes in favour and 77 against.

Nur Jazlan argued that while the maximum detention period was 28 days, drawn-out bureaucratic processes meant police really only had 21 days to carry out investigations. Read more

Bopim hails Surendran’s stand on ‘preventive detention’

Source: FMT News

KOTA KINABALU: A human rights advocate stressed that Padang Serai MP N Surendran “hit the nail on the head” with his statements on two consecutive days, on preventive detention. “He gave as good as he got, in fact even better,” said Daniel John Jambun in a telephone interview.

“Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

“Nur Jazlan was forced to degenerate into rhetoric and polemics.”

Jambun, who heads the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (Bopim), urged the Federal Government to emulate what other nations were doing on national security and on combating terrorism.

“These nations hit by terrorism, including long-suffering India for example, don’t have detention without trial.”

There’s no reason for Malaysia to have such laws, he continued, even if it suffered terrorist attacks like so many other countries in the world.

“It’s high time that the Federal Court declared the intention of the framers of the Constitution and the intention of Parliament on national security.

“National security cannot be used as a euphemism to deny civil liberties and human rights.” Read more