Proham does not support any move by the Federal Government to re- introduce detention without trial and restrict judicial review. Such a move takes Malaysia backward and is a violation to Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Proham is also concerned with some of the provisions in the Amendment Bill before Parliament in particular sections 7(c) where detention can be made despite no convictions in a court of law, section 12(d) where access to a legal counsel is denied and also section 19 where there is no judicial review except on procedural matter. These provisions are against basic fundamental human rights.
Proham like to remind Malaysians of the Recommendations of "the Royal Commission to enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police" concerning 10 strategic thrusts to make our Police Force a world class.
Apart from providing better police premises and housing, upgrading equipment and logistics. enhance human resources management, improve the establishment, remuneration and scheme of services the Commission also recommended compliance with prescribed laws and human rights obligations as well as ENHANCE INVESTIGATIVE POLICING.
On enhancing investigative policing the Commission made 28 recommendations. These includes improving supervision and monitoring crimes, proactive investigations, standard of investigation, improve training, greater use of scientific and technical aids in investigation AND to establish multi-disciplinary and multi-agency investigation team.
The Commissions view is that the Police role is also to protect the human rights of individual whilst maintaining law and order.
Therefore there must be a balance in the character of policing from one that is too easily persuaded to seek recourse in detention without trial at the expense of the rights of the suspect.
Proham had a round table discussion on these issues on 25th July in the University of Malaya and the consensus view is that the police needs support, encouragement and appreciation in undertaking difficult tasks in crime prevention. A critical view does not mean disrespect or disregard of the Police Force.
We also noted that crime in Malaysia is at a serious level in particular organised crime.
Hence those advocating a position against detention without trial are not pro criminals nor soft on crime but on the contrary we also feel that we must be tough on crime and the best way is bringing them to courts and having open trial.
We recommended that the Prevention of Crime Act and other Acts be used instead of new detention without trial laws be introduced.
We also recommended to amend The Crime Prevention Act 1959 to be amended to include Sabah and Sarawak as the Act is only enforceable in Peninsula Malaysia and to include organised crimes and others.
But our recommendation is not to the extend of bringing in detention without trial. We believe that there are better methods of addressing serious crime and these includes educating the young so as not to allow them to be recruited into gangs, the root cause must be looked into and must be addressed as this involves socio economic issues namely urban poverty, lack of adequate affordable housing, providing equal opportunities in education and employment.
There must also be a close partnership between PDRM and civil society, grass roots communities and private sector.
Issued on behalf of Proham by Datuk Kuthbul Zaman Bukhari and Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria