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Thursday October 3, 2013 MYT 1:07:00 AM
Thursday October 3, 2013 MYT 1:09:43 AM
by martin carvalho, rahimy rahim, AND loshana k shagar
KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Rakyat passed the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) 2013 despite attempts by Opposition lawmakers to “block” the Bill from passing in Parliament.
The move to stop the amendments to the controversial bill from proceeding to the final stages of debate at the committee stage failed after calls for a vote bloc following heated debates by nine parliamentarians during second reading.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia ordered for a bloc voting to be taken after Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) requested for it.
115 Barisan MPs agreed to proceed with the third reading of the Prevention of Crime (Amendment and Extension) Bill 2013, while 66 Opposition MPs stood against it.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also took part in the voting.
At midnight on Wednesday, the Parliament was forced to "stop the clock" to allow for the debates on the Crime Prevention Bill (PCA) 2013 to proceed.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim moved a motion to "stop the clock" as there was insufficient time to complete debates on the Bill on Wednesday.
The Bill was finally passed at 12.50am on Thursday.
Earlier, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in his wrap up speech at the second reading of the committee stage, denied allegations that the Government did not consult the Attorney-General Chambers before formulating the amendments to the Bills.
“It is wrong to say that the AG was not consulted as we even conducted various forums to gain feedbacks from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and all views were considered by the Ministry,” he said.
He also reiterated that the act would not be used against any individuals with different political views.
“The Prime Minister has ordered the Attorney-General to make sure that the Government will not be implicated of trying to abuse power and that is the reason we all provide certain provision as a check and balance including the set-up of the Crime Prevention Board.
“The Act is also better than the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 as the Minister’s power has been restricted under the new act,” he said.
Zahid said Clause 3 of the Act, which opposition MPs wanted to remove as the recital of Article 149 in the preamble whereby the provisions are inconsistent with all the basics human rights, does not contravene Article 149 of the Federal Constitution and there was a pressing need to address organised crime.
“After the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance and Restricted Residence Act, 9,095 detainees from Simpang Renggam detention centre were released and assimilated with the society. This year alone, there were 109 shooting cases and all of them involved the secret societies,” he said
He also hit out at the Opposition for politicising the issue by claiming that the provision under the Act was against human right.
“What human rights are you talking about when you do not to defend the rights of the victims who got killed? How about the rights of the police who got bashed by gangsters? We must have the right intention when doing things,” he said.
Pandikar also kept reminding MPs throughout the debate, to stop “political scoring” when debating the bill but instead to stick to the order of the day.
“All the issues had been raised earlier and is public knowledge, and some of you are just merely repeating the same arguments,” he said.
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Prevention of Crime Act, Parliament, Passed
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