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Sunday, September 29, 2013

'Train cops so they'll not need detention without trial'

The Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) has urged the government to upgrade the police force including its investigative capabilities so that it will not need to resort to detention without trial.

NONEIn a joint statement by Proham secretary-general Denison Jayasooria (left) and exco Kuthubul Zaman, they cited the 2005 report by royal commission of inquiry to improve the police force which said the police must also play a role in protecting human rights.

"Therefore there must be a balance in the character of policing from one that is too easily persuaded to seek recourse in detention without trial at the expense of the rights of the suspect," they said.

Aside from addressing basic police needs such as improved housing, equipment and logistics, they said there was also a need to improve investigative policing.

This include, improving supervision and monitoring of crimes, proactive investigations, training, greater use of scientific and technical aids in investigation and establishment of multi-disciplinary and multi-agency investigation team, they said.

Proham's statement comes in light of plans by the government to amend the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (PCA) with detention without trial.

Describing the mooted change as a step backwards and a violation of human rights, they said that PCA should be retained in its current form without detention without trial.

The only amended that they would be agreeable to, was for the existing PCA to be extended to Sabah and Sarawak.

"We believe that there are better methods of addressing serious crime and these include educating the young so as not to allow them to be recruited into gangs.

"The root cause must be looked into and must be addressed as this involves socio-economic issues namely urban poverty, lack of adequate affordable housing, providing equal opportunities in education and employment," they said.

‘Zahid hasn't read his own bill'
Meanwhile, in another statement today, PKR vice president N Surendran flayed Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for claiming that the new PCA would not have detention without trial, calling it a "blatant lie".

NONESurendran (right in photo) pointed out that the explanatory statement in the PCA amendment bill had recognised that it will contain detention without trial as it read: "In order to allow the introduction of detention without criminal charge or trial as previously provided in the repealed EO 1969 (Emergency Ordinance) and the ISA 1960 (Internal Security Act)...".

"Has the home minister not read the explanatory note to his own bill? Or is he deliberately lying to the public?" he said.

He also rubbished Zahid's claim that the detention order issued under the revised law can be challenged in court, stating that any judicial review would only be for procedural matters.

Furthermore, he said the board which decides on detention order is appointed by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong who ultimately must act on advice of the minister.

"They are not independent and do not act as a safeguard against arbitrary arrest," he said.

Surendran, who is Padang Serai MP, called for the bill to be withdrawn in its entirety.

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