The failure of Opposition MPs to co-ordinate themselves to defeat the Government on amendments to the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) Bill was passed without changes, resulted to the lame blame game amongst the partners-of-unholy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows.
Pakatan MPs defend absenteeism in Parliament after anti-terror law passed unchanged
BY SHAZWAN MUSTAFA KAMAL
Tuesday April 7, 2015
02:54 PM GMT+8
Tottenham Hotspur to play post-season friendly in Kuala LumpurTottenham Hotspur to play post-season friendly in Kuala Lumpur
Chong Wei awaits moment of truth in Amsterdam this SaturdayChong Wei awaits moment of truth in Amsterdam this Saturday
Singaporeans to get a taste of London’s MEATliquor burgersSingaporeans to get a taste of London’s MEATliquor burgers
Going to work in Singapore? Allegations of bias hiring is top grouseGoing to work in Singapore? Allegations of bias hiring is top grouse
KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — On the defensive after the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Bill was passed unchanged today, opposition lawmakers blamed the Home Ministry for what they claimed to be undue haste in pushing through the new law that revives preventive detention.
The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) MPs said their 26 colleagues who were missing during the debate of the bill in the Dewan Rakyat last night had “legitimate” reasons for skipping out, adding that there was no prior instruction for all opposition lawmakers to be present.
“When tabling laws like this, they should give more time as the Act is not a small issue,” PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad told Malay Mail Online, referring to the Home Ministry.
“Don’t make it normal practice to drag proceedings until 2am,” he added when met at the Parliament lobby.
PAS chief whip Datuk Mahfuz Omar, who was himself absent last night, claimed that he had no idea there would be block voting on the anti-terror law.
“I had a planned engagement in Kedah.There was no instruction for us to be present.
“I did not know there would be block voting,” he told Malay Mail Online.
PKR chief whip Datuk Johari Abdul played down the absence of PR MPs, saying that “most” of the them were present.
“Most of them were, only a few were not here and we had concrete reasons,” Johari, who was also absent said.
But DAP Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua asserted that most of his party’s were present, and that federal lawmakers were aware that the Pota would be deliberated yesterday.
“We were here. Of course there would be block voting, the point is to be prepared for that,” he told Malay Mail Online.
The Pota was passed without amendment at the Dewan Rakyat at about 2.25am this morning after a debate of more than 12 hours.
The bill was passed after the ninth block voting, with the final voting favouring the government when 79 MPs from Barisan Nasional (BN) agreeing on the bill while 60 MP from PR disagreed.
Tabled in Parliament last Monday, Putrajaya’s proposed new law will allow authorities to detain suspected terrorists without bringing them to court for up to two years, with a Prevention of Terrorism Board (POTB) empowered to renew the detention order for an indeterminate amount of time.
Judicial reviews of such sentences are not permitted, according to the Bill, except for questions on its compliance with procedural matters.
Opposition lawmakers have claimed such provisions mirror that of the now-repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 which was often used to silence political opposition to the establishment.
They also argued that the government already have strong existing laws like the Special Security Offences (Special Measures) Act to deal with terrorism, noting that it allows for long detention for investigation.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did not address the question but argued that existing laws were not equipped with preventive powers, which is required to deal specifically with terrorism.
In an extended several proposals by Opposition MPs which include notable lawyers such as N Sunrendan and Mohamed Hanipa Maideen to make changes to the POTA Bill. The whole process saw these proposals being debated and voted and Dewan Rakyat sitting ended at 0225hrs earlier today.
Despite some heated exchanges between MPs of both side of the augur chamber, the Opposition failed to change the Bill which was introduced and defended by Home Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Dewan Rakyat passes POTA without amendment
7 APRIL 2015 @ 7:30 AM
KUALA LUMPUR: The Prevention of Terrorism Bill (POTA) 2015 was passed without amendment at the Dewan Rakyat at about 2.25am after a debate of more than 12 hours.
The bill was passed after the ninth block voting, with the final voting favouring the government when 79 members of parliament (MPs) agreeing on the bill while 60 disagreed.
Earlier, the bill which was smoothly debated at the policy stage, passed through a difficult committee stage when numerous amendments were proposed by opposition members of parliament to the extent that the debate and winding up stage had extended into the early morning.
The situation was made more difficult when the opposition insisted on amending almost all the 35 Clauses, forcing eight block voting to be carried out for each motion for amendment proposed throughout the debate at the committee stage before the final vote was made to pass the bill.
However, all the block voting ended with the vote favouring the government, thus rejecting the motions for amendment proposed by the opposition.
Among the motions for amendments proposed by the opposition were for the rank of the police officers involved in the arrest of any suspected person should not be lower than a Superintendent and for the period of remand not to exceed 14 days compared to 21 days as the proposed in the bill.
The opposition also proposed for several provisions, including under Article 13-28 concerning detention order and restriction be scrapped as they were described as having mala fide (bad intention).
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi when winding up the debate at the committee stage said the government was not in the opinion that the amendment proposed by the opposition should be made now.
He said POTA should be seen with the eyes of faith to really understand the government’s intention in introducing the law, while at the same time, should not be compared to the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) 1959.
Earlier, when winding up the debate at the policy stage, Ahmad Zahid said the element of rehabilitation was the main priority in the implementation of Pota.
He pointed out that this was because Pota could not be viewed only from the legal aspect alone as it was more ‘preventive’ in nature.
“The element of rehabilitation on the detainees is a priority. The detention record of the detainees to the extent that the act was abolished, that is, from a total of 10,800 ISA detainees, 90 per cent were successfully rehabilitated,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid also gave an assurance that Pota would not be abused and no one who had political differences of differing opinion would be detained under this law.
“This is the transparency of the present government where we allow the freedom of political differences,” he said.– BERNAMA
The fact that Opposition MPs fail to co-ordinate amongst themselves intra and inter party for this Bill is reflective of the coalition is getting brittle by the day.