FRAUD AGAIN: New bill replacing ISA repressive & a danger to the rakyat's liberties
I refer to the Securities Offences (Special Measures ) Bill tabled today in the Dewan Rakyat which is intended to replace the ISA 1960.
The bill is repressive and a danger to fundamental liberties and the rule of law. We are appalled that the Bill is created under the provisions of the draconian Article 149 of the Federal Constitution.
Security of nation - who determines and on what basis
Article 149 is oppressive, unjust and no longer necessary in modern Malaysia; it should have been repealed along with the ISA 1960. The curtailment of the rakyat's basic rights under the bill are being done pursuant to a vague statement in the preamble of the bill that the security of the nation has been threatened. This is a flimsy and unacceptable basis upon which to tamper with the people's liberties.
Power to detain taken from the courts and given to the police
Under the Bill, the period of detention without charge has been reduced to 28 days. However the power to detain is taken away from the courts and given to the police under clause 4 of the bill, just as it was under the ISA 1960.
This is once again blatant administrative detention by the executive which is anathema to the rule of law and a menace to our liberties. The absence of judicial scrutiny means that the authorities can use the law to detain anyone opposed to them- for example Bersih 3-0 or Pakatan Rakyat leaders or supporters.
Extraordinary powers given to police unnecessary
The extraordinary powers provided for under the Bill are unnecessary and harsh. There are existing criminal laws under Chapter 6A of the Penal Code that are adequate to deal with the threat of terrorism. The proviso that no one shall be detained for political reasons is no comfort to the rakyat, as the power to detain remains with the police.
Even if acquitted, accused remains in detention until all appeals exhausted
It is also disturbing that even if the accused person is acquitted, the new Act allows continued detention without bail until all appeals by prosecutors are disposed of. The accused person could thus spend years in detention, just like under the ISA 1960.
The bill is peppered with oppressive provisions such non-compliance with Articles 5 and 9 of the Constitution; interception of communications without judicial sanction; and the disregard of time-honoured rules of evidence.
We call upon the Prime Minister Najib and the government to withdraw this bill and instead introduce a bill to repeal Article 149 in its entirety.
N SURENDRAN IS THE VICE PRESIDENT OF PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT