Thursday, September 26, 2013

‘PCA amendments obnoxious, unconstitutional’

Leven Woon

 | September 26, 2013
DAP chairman finds the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) Amendments Bill which allows detention of suspect without trial for a maximum of two years as unconstitutional.
KUALA LUMPUR: DAP leaders today labelled the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) Amendment Bill as “obnoxious” and “unconstitutional.”
DAP chairman Karpal Singh said he found the Bill – if passed would allow detention without trial and denying a detainee to right to a judicial review – absurd as it would grant a three-men board the discretion to detain a suspect, provided with evidence.
“How can these people be entrusted with the task of deciding if there is sufficient evidence? If there is enough evidence, why not the authorities haul the suspect to the open court instead?” he asked.
“Let it be heard in the court. If he is found guilty, put him in jail,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.
Karpal was commenting on proposed sections 7B and 7C of the Bill which provided that the board can detain a person who has committed two or more serious offences without trial, if an inquiry report informed that there was sufficient evidence.
Another section of the Bill also provided that a suspect would not able to file for a judicial review as the board’s decision cannot be challenged in court.
Home Ministry tabled the Bill in Parliament yesterday with the House scheduled to debate on the Bill on Monday amid concerns that the passing of the Bill would lead to abuse by the powers-that-be.
“We are doing something unconstitutional as it is against the internal declaration of human rights. The denial of the detainee’s right to seek judicial review has made it worst,” he said,  adding that laws on detention without trial should only be used during wartime.
Agreeing with Karpal, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang called the proposed PCA amendment an, “obnoxious piece of legislation.”
“It is against the Prime Minister’s transformation and liberalisation promises,” he said.

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