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Sunday September 29, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday September 29, 2013 MYT 9:29:28 AM
by lee yen mun
PUTRAJAYA: A detention order under the proposed amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act can be challenged in court, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has clarified.
He said that a clause under the amendments allows for a review of a detention order in the High Court. This means that a detention order can be challenged through the judiciary.
“Their (the suspects’) lawyers are given a chance to bring their case to court for a review,” Dr Ahmad Zahid told reporters after moderating a forum on crime prevention and public safety herelast week.
As reported earlier this week, the Bill carries a provision for a person to be detained without being charged or tried for up to two years.
The proposed Section 19A also allows the detention to be extended for another two years in the interest of public order, security or crime prevention.
Under the proposed new sections, 7B and 7C, a Prevention of Crime Board will be set up to determine issuance of detention orders subject to review by the High Court.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who tabled the Bill to amend the Act in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday, stressed that the proposed law was targeted at criminals.
“I give my guarantee that the amendments are 100% targeted at criminals, and they should not be seen as a way to imprison parties with views against the Government,” he said.
“I have also proposed to the Cabinet (on Friday) to have a long-term programme in crime prevention that should include rehabilitating those who have served their punishment,” he added.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low said the new laws were necessary to send a “strong message” to criminals to not mess with the law.
He acknowledged the public’s resistance towards preventive detention laws.
“We respect your (the criminals’) human rights, but we also want you to respect the rights of all citizens to be granted safety and security,” he said at the forum.
“I believe that detention is the last resort. The law is provided, just in case, and I am confident that the police will not use the law unnecessarily.”
Law Minister Datuk Nancy Shukri pointed out that the PCA was not the same as the Internal Security Act or the Emergency Ordinance.
“We are not going to bring back the draconian laws. We are coming out with very harsh laws to ensure the safety of our families,” said Nancy, a lawyer, in response to criticisms against elements of detention without trial provided in the proposed amendments to the PCA.
Federal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Datuk Hadi Ho Abdullah said the police have detected an increase in serious crimes since the repeal of the three laws.
Hadi said murder cases jumped from 781 cases to 935 cases within 20 months before and after the abolition of the emergency laws in 2011.
He said other crimes that had surged included firearms-related activities and extortion by gangs.
He said the police had responded to these by launching the Ops Cantas Khas last month, aimed at crippling underworld activities.
Tags / Keywords:
Government, zahid hamidi, crime
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