KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has dismissed a habeas corpus application by Alvin Goh Leong Yeong – who fled the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in October – over his detention under the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) 1959.
Judicial Commissioner Azhar Abdul Hamid made the decision after hearing submissions from parties involved here on Monday (Nov 16).
"Having gone through the written submissions and legal authorities applied by the applicant and respondents, I am in agreement with the respondents on the preliminary objection. Therefore I dismiss this application," he said.
Earlier, lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who represented Goh, argued that the Section under Poca his client was being detained under was unconstitutional and any orders made under it was a nullity.
Meanwhile, Senior Federal Counsel Muhammad Sinti, who appeared for the respondents, raised a preliminary objection on grounds that Goh's application had become academic as he was now being remanded for 38 days under a different Poca order.
"There is no longer a live issue for the court to decide on, since the matter has now been rendered academic," he said.
SFC Muhammad later told the press said Goh is now on a 38-day detention under Poca, subsequent to the first 21-day detention period he was challenging.
"The 38-day extension is expected to end on Dec 20," he added.
Goh filed the habeas corpus application on Nov 3 for an immediate release from his 21-day detention under Poca, linked to an investigation on illegal online gambling syndicate.
The 32-year-old named investigating officer ASP Khairul Fairoz Rodzuan, a Magistrate at Kuala Lumpur Magistrate's Court, the Inspector-General of Police and the government as the first, second, third and fourth respondents respectively.
In the application, Goh said his arrest and detention on Oct 27 under Section 4(1)(c) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 and under Section 4(1)(a) of Poca on Oct 31 was unlawful, did not comply with the procedure and mala fide (in bad faith).
He is also seeking for an order that the remand order dated Oct 31 by the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate's Court, which allowed his detention for 21 days from Oct 31 to Nov 21 under Poca, was unlawful.
Since Oct 2, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has detained more than 20 people, including eight police officers and personnel along with Goh.
They were detained for suspected money laundering as well as involvement in forex and Macau scams run by a syndicate from China.
On Oct 11, all suspects were released on MACC bail but Goh fled the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya as cops were waiting to re-arrest him outside the compound.
After a manhunt was launched, he was tracked down and arrested on Oct 27.