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Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 8:00:00 AM
Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 12:24:13 AM
PETALING JAYA: A person found guilty of registrable offences will have limited access to legal representation, if the proposed amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 are passed.
A lawyer can be present when the person’s evidence is being taken and recorded by the inquiry officer, but under the newly introduced Section 9A, the person has no access to legal representation when questioned by an inquiry officer in detention.
It is also not available to the person and witnesses at the inquiry under the newly introduced Section 9(5).
Registrable offences include drug trafficking, being a member of unlawful societies, and those subjected to banishment orders.
Only a three-member Prevention of Crime board - chaired by someone who either will be, have been, or is qualified to be a judge of the Federal Court, Court of Appeal or the High Court - can impose a detention order or a supervision order upon a person who meets all criteria outlined in the new section 7C.
The board’s decision or findings will not be subject to judicial review, except on matters regarding its compliance with procedural requirements, under the newly introduced Section 15A(1).
The board and inquiry must also serve a copy of their findings on the person being investigated and pending their decision, but information can be withheld by them and any public servant if deemed to be in the public interest or for the safety of a witness, family or associates, as allowed by Section 21A.
However, Section 19A(2) will allow a High Court review of the board’s decision in ordering a detention or extending a person’s detention period.
PCA, EO and ISA: how they compare
Prevention of Crime Act
> Any person suspected of having committed a registrable offence can be made to appear before an inquiry. If found guilty, the person will be placed on a registry and be subjected to certain conditions like being attached with an electronic monitoring device or other conditions, such as a restriction on Internet use or meeting with other registered persons.
> A detention order can only be applied if the inquiry has concluded that the registered person has committed two or more serious offences, or if he has contravened conditions of an earlier supervision order.
> The detention order allows for incarceration without trial for a period not longer than two years. The order, however, can be extended by another two years by a three-member board, which will be headed by a Federal Court judge, a Court of Appeal judge or a High Court judge.
> There can be no judicial review of the board’s decision or findings in the exercise of its discretionary powers. A judicial review is still possible on matters concerning the board’s compliance with procedural requirements.
> The Minister is required to submit an annual report on all activities related to detention orders under this law to Parliament.
> Detention without trial can last as long as five years after which detention without trial must be reviewed by the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara.
Emergency Ordinance 1969
> Any police officer can arrest and detain any person if he believes that there are grounds which will justify the detention under section 4(1).
> The detainee can be held for a period not exceeding 60 days without an order of detention.
> If the Minister is satisfied that it is necessary that a person should be detained for the suppression of violence or the prevention of crime, he can make an order directing that person be detained for any period not exceeding two years.
> Every such person shall be entitled to make representations against the order to an Advisory Board.
> The Advisory Board will make recommendations to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who may give the Minister any directions he thinks fit. The King’s decision is final.
Internal Security Act
> If the Minister is satisfied that the detention of any person is necessary with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the country’s security, essential services or economic life thereof, he may make a detention order directing that person be detained for any period not exceeding two years.
> The Minister can order restrictions and conditions upon that person in respect of his activities, freedom of movement or places of residence or employment if it unnecessary to detain him - a restriction order. He can order that the person stay in a particular place and be indoors at specified hours, or prevent any travel.
Proposed PCA amendments allow two-year detention without trial
Tags / Keywords:
Parliament, Prevention of Crime Act 1959, Home Ministry, Electronic Monitoring Device
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