Jumaat, 27 September 2013

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PCA: Sympton of a failed state

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 06:22 PM PDT

By Dr Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser

The amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) which allows detention without trial is symptomatic of a failed transformation programme by the Najib government to bring the country into the league of nations that follow the rule of law. No other country that espouses adherence to democracy and human rights uses detention without trial laws to tackle crime.

The reasons why this situation has come about and why the government has been helpless in implementing the Independent Police Complaints & Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) perhaps point to more sinister factors involving skeletons in government leaders' cupboards. And the reason why organised crime has become so intractable in recent years points to rotten apples in the police barrel.

We have had some hints of that recently. You will remember that after he retired, the former Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan had revealed political influences on the police force to release certain individuals. This IGP's former aide de camp, Noor Azizul Rahim in turn retaliated by accusing Musa of wrongdoings and silencing critics.

I can't think of any other reasons for the impunity enjoyed by the police despite the annual human rights violations relating to detentions without trial, deaths in police custody and deaths through police shootings. After all, the IPCMC was one of the recommendations by the Royal Commission on the Police in 2005.

SUARAM's Human Rights Report 2012 show that deaths in police custody and deaths through police shootings continue unabated: Deaths in police custody cases show 7 in 2010, 25 in 2011 and 9 in 2012; deaths through police shooting cases show 18 in 2010, 25 in 2011 and 37 in 2012. Between 2000 and 2012, there were in total 209 deaths in police custody cases; between 2007 and 2012, there were 298 deaths through police shootings.

Tackling the problem of crime & gangs

The government and the police with the assistance of the mainstream media have recently made a big play of the proliferation of gangs and gangsters inflicted crimes in the country, blaming it on the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance (EO) which was intended for emergency purposes to save the life of a nation. Unfortunately, the EO was a convenient way for the police to rope in anyone they didn't like. This included respected members of parliament like Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, the MP for Sungai Siput, who was detained without trial with five other PSM leaders in 2011 as well as suspected thiefs and illegal lottery runners.

The government, police and the mainstream press have not asked the pertinent question: how did cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and others tackle their triad problems without relying on detention without trial?

We have a Societies Act that is obsessed with cracking down on any organisation that is not pro-BN and that is why SUARAM chose to register under the Registrar of Companies. In places like Hong Kong, their Societies Ordinance and an Organized & Serious Crimes Ordinance have been specifically enacted to tackle the triad problem. The former outlaws triads in Hong Kong and imposes stiff prison terms and penalties for any person convicted of professing or claiming to be an office bearer or managing or assisting in the management of a triad.

Hong Kong also established an Independent Commission against Corruption in 1974. The agency targeted brazen corruption within police ranks linked with triads, provided heavier penalties for organized crime activities and authorized the courts to confiscate the proceeds of such crimes. Hong Kong, as a British Colony, had the reputation of being one of the most corrupt cities in the world with a cosy association between law enforcement agencies and organized crime syndicates. Nearly all types of organized crimes, vice, gambling and drugs, were protected. Within three years, they had smashed all corruption syndicates in the Government and prosecuted 247 government officers, including 143 police officers.

Their success has been attributed to: (i) having an independent anti-corruption agency, free from any interference in conducting their investigation; (ii) strong financial support; (iii) having wide investigative powers, empowered to investigate all crimes which are connected with corruption but with an elaborate check and balance system to prevent abuse of such wide power; (iv) being highly professional in  investigations, including video recording of all interviews of suspects; (v) a strategy that includes prevention and education.

Although Hong Kong is not totally free of violent crime, it is a comparatively safe place to live in. Comparable communities in developed Asia, like Japan, Korea and Singapore, also have markedly lower crime rates than most Western societies. (South China Morning Post, 22.2.2013)

Failure to solve poverty, social dislocation & inequality

Social dislocation, inequality and poverty are known factors in crime. The destruction of the rubber plantation communities, growing inequality and marginalisation through racial discrimination has driven many into crime. Poverty and crime are clearly feeding on each other, and the government has to make this a priority in its professed transformation plan.

They should not be indulging in their usual wasteful exploits of spying on dissidents, harassing NGOs, detaining dissidents without trial, breaking up peaceful assemblies and such distractions from the serious work of tackling organised crime.

This retrogressive PCA Bill has put us in the league of banana republics in which people run the risk of being detained without trial and where our society will never be at peace with itself…


New PCA bill violates civil liberties by presumption of guilt, disallowing legal redress and ...

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 11:26 AM PDT


It is obvious that the proposed amendments to the PCA are a clear violation of civil liberties, and a return to a haunted past Malaysians believed to have been buried. 

Steven Sim Chee Keong, Ahli Parlimen Bukit Mertajam

Zairil Khir Johari, Ahli Parlimen Bukit Bendera 

The proposed amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (PCA) have caused a public outcry, not least because it appears to be a way of reintroducing the controversial provisions of the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) and Emergency Ordinance (EO), both of which were repealed by the very same administration. 

Many have pointed out the double standards of Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib Razak, who began his term promising "transformation" and respect for human rights and civil liberties, but have now succumbed to business as usual by undoing his very own reforms, and his own credibility in the process. 

Further to that, the amendments to the PCA are problematic due to a few other reasons, as stated below.


No to preventive detention

Firstly, the reintroduction of preventive detention is completely unnecessary. This is especially so in light of the fact that the Government has already passed the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, which allows for preventive detention in cases of national security. Moreover, even without the amendments, the PCA already allows for remand of up to 28 days and then a further 28 days upon the approval of a magistrate.

Therefore, the PCA amendments can be seen as an attempt to broaden the ambit for detention without trial. Instead of taking the easy way out by using detention without trial, the police should focus on solving crime via the criminal justice system.


Overturning of the principle of justice

Secondly, there is a strong element of presumption of guilt in the proposed changes to the PCA. For example, section 7C(a)(i) states that a detention order can be issued on a person who has "committed two or more serious offences, whether or not he is convicted thereof, if the inquiry report finds sufficient evidence to support such finding." In other words, a person who has been accused of an offence can be detained without having been proven to have committed it. Does this not contradict the basis of criminal justice, whereby a person is innocent until proven guilty?


Arbitrary power of the Prevention of Crime Board

Thirdly, it would appear that the arbitrary powers of the Home Minister that existed in the ISA has now been replaced with the arbitrary powers of a "Prevention of Crime Board." This Board will comprise three members, with a chairman who "shall be or have been, or be qualified to be, a judge of the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal or a High Court." In addition to the chairman, there will be two other members. However, the bill provides no specification of any criteria whatsoever for the appointment of these two other members. This raises many questions – who will recommend them and on what basis would they be recommended?


Lack of independence and check and balance in decision-making

Finally, the proposed law also prohibits legal redress by not allowing judicial review of the Board's decisions. This is stated by Section 15A(1): "There shall be no judicial review in any court of, and no court shall have or exercise any jurisdiction in respect of, any act done or finding or decision made by the Board in the exercise of its discretionary power…." A judicial review is only possible on matters concerning the Board's compliance with procedural requirements.

Oddly, however, Section 19A(2) appears to contradict the earlier section by allowing a review of "the direction of the Board... by the High Court". As such, it is at best a contradicting law and at worst, one that ignores the fundamental principles of justice.



Thus, it is obvious that the proposed amendments to the PCA are a clear violation of civil liberties, and a return to a haunted past Malaysians believed to have been buried. While we do not object to the strengthening of existing criminal laws to tackle escalating crime, the current amendments are akin to the government reviving the oppressive EO and ISA through the backdoor via the PCA.


Steven Sim Chee Keong, Ahli Parlimen Bukit Mertajam

Zairil Khir Johari, Ahli Parlimen Bukit Bendera


Rang Undang-Undang PCA melanggar kebebasan sivil dengan tahanan tanpa bicara, halangan hak membela diri dan kuasa arbitari  'Lembaga Pencegahan Jenayah'

Cadangan pindaan Akta Pencegahan Jenayah 1959 (PCA) telah menyebabkan bantahan awam kerana dilihat sebagai usaha untuk memperkenalkan semula peruntukan kontroversi Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri zalim (ISA) dan Ordinan Darurat (EO), yang kedua-duanya telah dimansuhkan oleh pentadbiran yang sama.

Sekali lagi rakyat dijamu dengan tindakan cakap tidak serupa bikin oleh Perdana Menteri Dato' Sri Najib Razak, yang pada awal penggalnya menjanjikan "transformasi" dan penghormatan kepada hak asasi manusia dan kebebasan sivil, tetapi kini telah mengabaikan janji transformasinya, dan mencalarkan kredibiliti beliau melalui tindakan ini.

Lebih penting lagi, pindaan PCA ini sangat bermasalah atas beberapa alasan berikut:


Tidak kepada tahanan tanpa bicara

Pertama, pengenalan semula tahanan pencegahan adalah benar-benar tidak perlu. Apatah lagi apabila Kerajaan sendiri telah meluluskan Akta Kesalahan Keselamatan (Langkah-Langkah Khas) 2012, yang membenarkan tahanan pencegahan dalam kes-kes keselamatan negara. Selain itu, walaupun tanpa pindaan, PCA membenarkan reman sehingga 28 hari dan tambahan lagi 28 hari dengan kelulusan majistret.

Oleh itu, pindaan PCA boleh dilihat sebagai usaha untuk memperluaskan cakupan kuasa penahanan tanpa bicara. Daripada mengambil jalan mudah dengan menggunakan pendekatan tahanan tanpa bicara, pihak polis perlu memberi fokus kepada menyelesaikan jenayah dalam kerangka sistem perundangan jenayah yang adil.


Memesongkan prinsip keadilan

Kedua, elemen anggapan kebersalahan ataupun "presumption of guilt" adalah sangat nyata dalam pindaan yang dicadangkan dalam PCA. Sebagai contoh, seksyen 7C(a)(i) menyatakan bahawa perintah tahanan boleh dikeluarkan kepada seseorang yang telah "melakukan dua atau lebih kesalahan yang serius, sama ada atau tidak disabitkan atas kesalahan itu, jika laporan siasatan itu mendapati keterangan yang mencukupi untuk menyokong dakwaan." Dalam erti kata lain, seseorang yang telah dituduh atas suatu kesalahan boleh ditahan tanpa perlu dibuktikan bersalah. Adakah ini tidak bercanggah dengan dasar keadilan perundangan, di mana seseorang itu tidak bersalah sehingga dibuktikan bersalah?


Kuasa arbitari Lembaga Pencegahan Jenayah

Ketiga, kelihatannya kuasa arbitari Menteri Dalam Negeri yang wujud dalam ISA telah dipindahkan kepada "Lembaga Pencegahan Jenayah." Lembaga yang dicadangkan ini akan terdiri daripada tiga orang ahli, dengan dipengerusikan oleh seseorang yang "hendaklah menjadi atau telah, atau layak menjadi, hakim Mahkamah Persekutuan, Mahkamah Rayuan atau Mahkamah Tinggi." Selain pengerusi, akan ada dua orang anggota lain lagi. Walau bagaimanapun, rang undang-undang ini tidak memberikan sebarang perincian kriteria bagi pelantikan kedua-dua ahli ini. Ini menimbulkan banyak persoalan – siapa yang akan mengesyorkan mereka dan atas dasar apa?


Kurangnya kebebasan dan semak dan imbang dalam proses membuat keputusan

Akhir sekali, rang undang-undang yang dicadangkan ini juga melanggar hak perundangan dengan tidak membenarkan semakan kehakiman ke atas keputusan Lembaga ini. Peruntukan ini dinyatakan dalam Seksyen 15A(1): "Tidak akan ada semakan kehakiman di mana-mana mahkamah, dan tiada mahkamah boleh mempunyai atau menjalankan apa-apa bidang kuasa berkenaan dengan, apa-apa perbuatan yang dilakukan atau dakwaan atau keputusan yang dibuat oleh Lembaga dalam menjalankan kuasa budi bicara itu ...." Semakan kehakiman hanya boleh dibuat pada perkara-perkara yang berkenaan dengan pematuhan prosedur sahaja.

Pun begitu, Seksyen 19A(2) nampaknya bercanggah dengan seksyen awal dengan membenarkan semakan kehakiman oleh Mahkamah Tinggi ke atas keputusan Lembaga. Oleh itu, undang-undang ini bukan sahaja bercanggah tetapi mengabaikan prinsip asas keadilan.



Oleh itu, adalah jelas bahawa cadangan pindaan PCA ini mencabuli kebebasan awam. Walaupun kami tidak membantah pengukuhan undang-undang jenayah yang sedia ada untuk menangani keadaan jenayah yang semakin meningkat, namun pindaan ini seolah-olah satu cubaan oleh Kerajaan untuk menghidupkan semula EO dan ISA melalui pintu belakang dengan menggunakan PCA.


Steven Sim Chee Keong, Ahli Parlimen Bukit Mertajam

Zairil Khir Johari, Ahli Parlimen Bukit Bendera












第二,罪案防范法修改建议中有一个"有罪推定"(presumption of guilt)的元素。举个例子,根据法令第7(a)(i)条文指出,只要一个人有犯过一个到两个严重的罪案,不论有没有证据证实一个人犯罪,只要调查报告说一个人犯罪,就可以发出扣留令。换句话说,一个曾经犯过案的人,即使没有证据也能被逮捕。这不是违反了基本的司法原则吗?只要还没有下判前,每个人都是无辜的。














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