I refer to Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's claim that " there is no such thing as detention without trial" under the new PCA amendments, which is to be debated this week in Parliament. Zahid's statement is a blatant lie which contradicts the clear words and explanations in the amending bill itself. Explanatory statement no 3 of the amending bill states as follows: " In order to allow the introduction of detention without criminal charge or trial as previously provided in the repealed EO 1969 and the ISA 1960...".
Therefore the bill itself admits to introducing detention without trial; it further admits that the provisions are similar in nature to both the EO and the ISA. Has the Home Minister not read the explanatory note to his own bill? Or is he deliberately lying to the public? Whichever it is, the contents of the explanatory note leave no doubt that the bill allows detention without trial, and that it is similar to the ISA and EO.
Zahid's claim that the detention can be challenged in court is sheer nonsense. Clause 15A clearly excludes judicial review except on procedural requirements. This means no detainee can challenge the basis of his detention, as was the case under the EO and ISA.
Zahid also claims that the power of detention is removed from the Minister and vested in the Board. This makes no practical difference whatsoever. The members of the Board are appointed by the Agong upon the advice of the Minister. This means that the members of the Board hold their positions at the sufferance of the Minister; they are not independent and do not act as a safeguard against arbitrary arrest.
This undemocratic and unconstitutional bill must be withdrawn in its entirety; the freedom of every Malaysian will be jeopardized if this bill is allowed to become law.
VICE PRESIDENT, KEADILAN
MP PADANG SERAI