Home > News > Nation
Sunday September 29, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday September 29, 2013 MYT 9:30:44 AM
by at the dewan rakyat last weekby martin carvalho
MOST of the Yang Berhormat (YBs) buried themselves deep in work last week, poring over the slew of proposed amendments to laws meant to address issues related to security and crime prevention.
Eleven Bills were tabled for the first reading but one which came under greater scrutiny was the Prevention of Crime (Amendment and Extension) Bill.
Initially, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar complained that the legislators were caught off guard over the Bills, claiming that they knew about these only at the eleventh hour.
But MPs, being the politicians they are, lost no time in giving their views about the proposed changes to the laws.
One matter that was highlighted was a provision that allowed for a two-year detention of suspected gang members without trial or judicial review.
Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) voiced his concerns over the move, saying it would allow for prolonged detention of an accused without trial.
Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers, notably Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor), hit out at the amendment.
They felt that it was a regressive move that echoed the days of the Internal Security Act (ISA).
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, during a press conference at Parliament lobby, said he would provide a detailed explanation on the reasons for the amendments in coming debates.
He denied that the new laws were a signal that Acts similar to those such as the ISA were making a “comeback”.
Besides tackling organised crime, the proposed new laws were also targeted at crimes such as gang rape and criminal force against a spouse.
There are also plans to increase jail time for sexual offenders and repeat offenders.
For those who show disrespect to the Jalur Gemilang, there is a possibility of a jail sentence of between five and 15 years.
And there will be no “honour” in accepting titles from self-proclaimed heads of state not recognised by Malaysia. Those who do so could find themselves behind bars for at least five years.
Earlier in the week, the Dewan passed amendments to the Legal Profession Act to liberalise the legal profession while curbing “fly in, fly out” foreign lawyers.
The move will allow foreign lawyers to participate in arbitration matters while restricting them to a limited role in local legal matters and proceedings.
Also drawing attention was the tabling of the Supplementary Supply Bill for RM14bil in additional expenditure for 10 ministries and six other government institutions.
On another matter, N. Surendran (PKR-Padang Serai) was sent out of the House by Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia when he was adamant in raising a petition about a custodial death despite Pandikar’s explanation that the move was against the order of proceedings.
There was also another heated moment when Deputy Science, Technology and Innovations Minister Datuk Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah defended the Lynas rare earth plant, saying that it was as safe as a kicap (soya sauce) factory.
His remark angered a group of anti-Lynas campaigners who had earlier handed him a memorandum.
There was a brief shoving and pushing between him and some group members.
Tags / Keywords:
Government, 13th Parliament, Dewan Rakyat, Speaker, Government
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)