Media Statement by Tony Pua, DAP National Publicity Secretary and Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 12 July 2013
Yesterday, Home Minister Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed he will present statistics from a recent study on crime in full at the next Parliament session to justify the need to revive the Emergency Ordinance (EO), to allow the Police to place suspects under detention without trial for 2 years.
He said “I obtained the statistics, which were derived empirically, that in Selangor, 90% of organised crimes were carried out by ex-detainees who were released from Simpang Renggam where they were held under the EO. I will present the statistics and the study in the Dewan Rakyat in the coming session, the September session, to prove the need for the EO.”
The perplexing question for us to ask the Home Minister is, if the study is already concluded, and he already have in his possession the study, why does he need to wait 2 months before the report is presented to the Parliament? Why not present it next week while the Parliament is still in session? In fact, even if the report isn’t yet presentable next week, he could always call for a press conference and release the results of the study. There is absolutely no necessity to wait a whole 2 months “to prove the need for the EO”.
However, if you read into Dato’ Seri Zahid’s statement, one can only deduce that it is completely oxymoronic. If the “study” even exists, then surely for a shocking 90% of the crime perpetrators to be identified, these “criminals” would have been identified, arrested, investigated and possibly even charged already. But if they have been arrested and investigated – and there have been very few reports of such, then how come crime is still rampant and the Police still needs the EO?
Is the Minister trying to tell us that they have identified all the suspects of all the crime incidences over the past year but are unable to arrest and charge them?
In fact if Dato’ Seri Zahid’s allegation that 90% of these crimes were committed by former EO detainees were true, it actually doesn’t “prove the need for the EO”. On the contrary, it only proved that the police force to be totally incompetent! The question needs to be asked, that if the Police is indeed so certain of who committed 90% of these crimes, then why can’t they be charged in court and put in jail? If the Police is unable to charge all of them, surely the Police is able to garner evidence and charge half or even a quarter of them?
However, based on the Home Minister’s argument, the Police are absolutely helpless without the EO to put these “criminals” to jail via our criminal justice system. Hence the need for the Police to take the easy way out, by becoming the witness, prosecutor and judge to place these “criminals” under detention without trial.
Unlike Dato’ Seri Zahid who seems to have trouble coming up with concrete statistics, we have shown using past published police statistics have shown that the EO was completely ineffective in fighting rising crime. For example, the Malaysian crime index was rising rapidly from 2003 to 2008. At the peak, with the crime rate rose by 34.0% from 2004 to 2007. During this period, the EO was readily available at the Police’s disposal and yet, crime was seemingly unstoppable.
However, despite the EO repeal at the end of 2011, the Police and the Home Ministry were claiming victory in the fight against crime, with the crime index declining by 7.6% in 2012. Hence, based on the above official crime statistics presented by the Police themselves, how can the Home Minister, Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi, now claim that the cause of rising crime is almost entirely due to the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance?
Therefore, just like Dato’ Seri Zahid’s utter nonsense over the “Red Bean Army” allegedly funded with hundreds of millions of ringgit by the DAP, this so-called study which shows 90% of organised crimes being committed by ex-EO detainees is a complete figment of Zahid’s imagination. This study does not exist.
We are seriously concerned that the Home Minister is taking advantage of the public fear of rising crime to bring back draconian laws for sinister purposes in Malaysia, instead of focusing on how to improve the professionalism, efficiency and effectiveness of the Police in fighting crime.
We call upon both the IGP and the Home Minister to heed Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s advice when he announced the repeal of the EO, that “now police must train themselves how to look for evidence.” Instead of just catching suspects and chucking them into EO detention, Dato’ Seri Najib asked the police to now “provide evidence to charge them in court”.