On the eve of The Mole getting online, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak repealed the dreaded Internal Security Act (ISA) and abolished the Emergency Ordinance (EO) in the name of ‘Political Transformation’ initiatives for his ‘Transformation Agenda’. Now almost two years later, it has been proven it was a poor political move and there seems to be initiatives to reinstate them.
Obviously Prime Minister Najib was not able to commit extraordinary amount resources to combat crime, considering that some of the most effective ‘preventive tools’ were abolished. Thus, law enforcement agencies were unable to cope with the increased number of crimes believed to be derived from network of vices and organised crimes being strengthened after EO was abolished.
In the light of increased crimes which is believed to be attributed to many Lords of the Underworld and Organised Crime released after EO was abolished, Home Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that new laws similar to EO would be brought back and enacted.
Home Ministry says drawing up new EO-like detention laws
BY IDA LIM
JULY 05, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 — Barely a year after rescinding the Emergency Ordinance, Putrajaya is looking to introduce new legislation to provide for preventive detention powers whose removal authorities have blamed for the crime rate, local dailies reported today.
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (picture) yesterday said the Home Ministry was discussing the details of the proposed law with the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) after having handed them the first draft.
“We are already in discussions with the Attorney-General about it.
“We will make an announcement once they have gone through the first draft,” Zahid was quoted saying by The Star.
According to the New Straits Times, Zahid urged the Bar Council, non-governmental organisations and politicians to provide their views on the matter to the government.
“It is still in its infancy. I hope everyone provides input so that once it becomes law it will not be politicised or questioned.”
Zahid then blamed the repeal of the EO for contributing to the spike in crime.
“When the EO was abolished, many of these criminals were released. Now they are taking advantage of the situation. Laws that are introduced to curb crime should get the co-operation from all parties,” The Star reported him as saying.
NST reported Zahid as saying that 2,600 criminals detained under the EO were released when the law was scrapped and are now “roaming” the streets.
Zahid lamented that organised criminal syndicates were able to afford expensive lawyers and help criminals escape the clutches of the law, appearing to stress the need for preventive laws.
“When the crime rate goes up, police integrity will be questioned, but without a strict law to help us bust criminal operations, we are unable to reduce the crime rate,” Zahid was quoted as saying by NST.
The EO previously gave the Home Ministry and the police the power to detain a person without trial and on suspicion.
The country’s police chief has also given his full support for the proposed law to replace the EO, saying that it would help the police cut down violent crimes.
“I am confident violent crimes can be curbed if new laws similar to the EO are introduced.
“With the new laws, the police will be able to put away hardened criminals,” Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar was quoted saying by The Star.
Last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak carried out a series of law reforms, including the repeal of the EO and the Internal Security Act (ISA). He also introduced the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) and promised to abolish the Sedition Act.
But critics have questioned the sincerity of the government’s reforms, claiming that subsequent replacement laws such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 and the PAA are still insufficient to safeguard the people’s rights.
Police have sought to attribute complaints of rising crime to the repeal of the EO, but it is unclear which crimes have been directly linked to the released detainees.
The critics of preventive laws are now supportive that they are very important, to combat crime. Naturally the Police gave thumbs up for the idea.
Published: Thursday July 4, 2013 MYT 12:54:00 PM
Updated: Thursday July 4, 2013 MYT 2:27:26 PM
IGP: Police supports calls to introduce new preventive laws similar to Emergency OrdinanceKhalid Abu Bakar.
KUALA LUMPUR: The police force fully supports the calls to introduce new special preventive laws similar to the Emergency Ordinance (EO), said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
Describing such calls as timely, Khalid said a study and subsequent calls for such similar laws to be introduced are welcomed by the police.
“I am confident violent crimes can be curb if laws similar to the EO is introduced.
“The police will be able to put hardened criminals away if such calls are a reality,” he told a press conference after the handing over of 10 Mitsubishi GT Lancer 2.0 to Bukit Aman Traffic department, courtesy of PLUS Malaysia Berhad on Thursday.
Khalid said any decision towards enacting laws similar to EO would receive the full backing and support of the police force.
There have been growing calls for stronger preventive laws to stop the incidence of violent crime.
The move is deemed necessary because the Police strategy of ‘apprehending the snake by holding the head’ obviously worked. Since these Lords of the Underworld and Organised Crime are layered from their operations, many of them are unable to be brought to trial because of lack of evidence. Worse still, witnesses are usually very afraid to step forward.
Hence, the EO was the best solution to ensure them off the street and almost totally cut off from their network and operations. Being under EO detention, their operations are no longer well planned and managed.
It is widely believed that once EO was abolished, there was a surge of these Underworld Crime vices and dark activities and naturally the network expended. This is the catalyst for more crimes, which include theft, burglary and petty felonys.
That is not withstanding all the crimes related and coherent to vice. This include smuggling of goods and also, the flesh trade. Malaysia has also become an important transit and operations for narcotics. These businesses are also owned by the same Lords of the Underworld Crime.
Very few Lords of the Underworld and Organised Crime ever being successfully charged and convicted. It is almost impossible to trace any of the network, operations, transaction and/or benefits derived from these vices go back to them. At best, the authorities go after them against Income Tax and/or Anti Money Laundering Acts. Even that, the success stories are hardly enough to be made example of.
The irony is when the Home Ministry dared to make the politically correct decisions, based on the security requirements instead of pandering on the popularity nodes. As such, Home Minister Dr Zahid’s announcement is as if the Federal Government is ‘Flip-Flopping’ on their own strategic move for ‘Political Transformation’ as an after thought.
However, Prime Minister Najib recently announced that the Sedition Act would also be repealed and a new law be enacted in place.
Najib: Sedition Act to be repealed
UPDATED @ 07:00:40 AM 12-07-2012
JULY 11, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the repeal of the Sedition Act 1948 tonight, in his latest move to regain the momentum for reforms ahead of elections that must be held soon.
He said the 64-year-old law would be replaced with a National Harmony Act.
“With this new Act, we would be better equipped to manage our national fault lines.
“It will also help to strengthen national cohesion by protecting national unity and nurturing religious harmony,” he was quoted as saying by The Star during the Attorney-General Department’s dinner here.
Tonight’s announcement comes as part of the prime minister’s slew of legislative reforms to increase civil liberties initiated during the eve of Malaysia Day last year.
Among others, the Najib administration has repealed the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA), lifted three Emergency Declarations and enacted the Peaceful Assembly Act to regulate public gatherings.
The government has also scrapped the need for annual printing licences in the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and lifted the ban on student participation in politics through amendments to the University and University Colleges Act 1971.
Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan welcomed tonight’s announcement but said it would be preferable that the Act be scrapped entirely and not replaced with another piece of legislation.
“But since the government will proceed with the replacement law, we congratulate the prime minister for staying true to his promise to put people first through this consultation.
“We urge the public and members of civil society to engage in this consultation process,” he said in a statement here.
Opposition lawmakers and civil society groups have long accused the government of using the British-enacted Sedition Act arbitrarily to limit dissent.
Speaking to The Malaysian Insider recently, Bar Council constitutional law committee chief lawyer Syahredzan Johan noted a trend for the authorities to cite the Sedition Act as an early measure in their investigations and prosecution because “it is the “easiest offence to satisfy”.
“They don’t have to prove that there is sedition, only to show there is a tendency,” Syahredzan said, pointing to Section 3(1) of the Sedition Act, which lists six sub-clauses defining a seditious tendency.
It includes “to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against any Ruler or against any Government”.
Syahredzan said there was tendency for the government to go on the offensive and use the laws as weapons when it was being hit by criticism. He stressed that it occurs on both sides of the political divide.
Recent cases include DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who was prosecuted on a charge of “seditious tendency” for saying the Perak Sultan could be questioned in a court of law.
Police are also investigating former Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin for his May 28 Twitter remarks on the Johor Sultan’s RM520,000 purchase of the WWW1 car licence plate.
When announcing a raft of reforms last year, Najib admitted that the government’s move to allow greater civil freedom was “risky, but we are doing this for our survival.”
“No individual will ever be detained simply due to political ideology,” he had said in his Malaysia Day message.
The 52-year-old ISA was repealed in April this year and replaced with the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, which saw the government’s right to detain a person without trial removed.
If this is something not well thought through and upon intense deliberations with his ‘Advisers’ without consulting the other stakeholders, then probably it is another mistake waiting to start the domino effect.
It is clear the some of the minority, especially the Opposition are getting more intense with the sinister and evil agenda to destabilise the nation with their ‘Poltics of Hatred’ strategy as their means to come into power. Dismantling all the necessary tools available to ensure that the nation is not destablised through anarchy is a challenge probably the law enforcement authorities can’t bear.
Many already opined that the initiative to make the Election Commission answerable to a special panel consists of Parliamentarians is ‘Thinning of the Wedge’.
At least Home Minister Dr. Zahid got it right. Sedition Act 1948 is very much still needed in spirit and practice, to maintain that people do not go overboard and went to thread on the lines of instigation and inciting in their ‘Politics of Hatred’ strategy to demonise the power of authority and what had been incorporated in the Federal Constitution. Particularly issues and provisions pertaining to, for and about the Malays, Islam and HRH Rulers.
Published: Sunday July 7, 2013 MYT 2:53:00 PM
Updated: Sunday July 7, 2013 MYT 2:57:46 PM
Zahid Hamidi: Abolition of Sedition Act may lead to dispute of Federal Constitution
PUTRAJAYA: The abolition of the Sedition Act 1948 may lead to the dispute of four core aspects enshrined in the Federal Constitution, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
According to Zahid, the four core aspects are the special rights of Malays, the status of Malay rulers, the status of Islam as the Federal religion and the status of Bahasa Melayu as the national language.
The Home Minister said he wanted the Act retained so that these will not be questioned.
“The Cabinet cannot decide to abolish (the Act) but (it can propose) to amend.
“If the Sedition Act is abolished wholly, (people) will have the rights to touch on these four areas although these are enshrined in the Constitution.
“I will not compromise if there are parties who want to touch on any of these four main aspects of the Constitution.
“Those who do, must be charged under the existing Sedition Act 1964,” said Dr Ahmad Zahid on Sunday after launching the commemoration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking here.
Home Minister Dr Zahid is right. The Federal Constitution is about the ‘Social Contract’ which are the basis and fundamentals when this nation was born. Even though it supercedes previous treaties (particularly the Federation of Malaya Treaty 21 Jan 1948), the provisions are about preserving what HRH Rulers agreed when the Constitutional Monarchy system where the common rakyat have the say on laws and administration was favoured instead of them collectively ruling the nation.
Challenging the salient points that were the basis when this nation was born for what ever purpose which include academic discourse will do nothing good but invite uneasiness if not anger and trouble. It is like when someone else challenges how and why one parents’ met and decided to get married. History is meant to be preserved and treasured, especially in irreversible or irrevocable agreements and transactions made.
It is noble to move the nation forward for a grand master plan of ‘Political Transformation’ in tandem with the ‘Economic Transformation Plan’ and ‘Government Transformation Plan’ to achieve the ‘Social Justice Transformation Plan’.
However, that can only happen if the situation is idealistically ceteris paribus. In spirit, philosophy and most importantly, in practice, it is far from it. ‘All things doesn’t remain equal’, and for that matter, consistent to make such bold assumptions.
The Opposition and some minority minions and disciple for the agenda of ‘Politics of Hatred’ strategy already got this nation divided. Soon, the nation would be fragmented into pieces. Worse still, the preperators are still free to continue on their sinister habits forcing themselves onto others with the continued manipulation and fabrication of facts and deception as daily dietary information feed to the middle ground, liberal and younger lot.
At the end of the day, Prime Minister Najib wouldn’t want to be the leader who handed this unique nation into the hands of wrong people, even for the right reasons.