Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Draconian laws must be repealed, not strengthened, govt told

Lawyers for Liberty hits out at the government's intention to review and amend laws such as Poca and Sosma in the name of improving national safety.

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Rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) today slammed the government’s intention as stated in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) to review and amend security laws in the name of improving national safety, saying these laws should instead be repealed.

In a statement, LFL coordinator Zaid Malek said the laws include the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca), Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (Pota), the Sedition Act 1948 and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA).

“These laws have consistently proven to be oppressive and a mockery of our justice system. They allow for detention without trials, the disregard of natural justice and the arbitrary and excessive limitation of fundamental liberties guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.

“Laws that are bad in substance cannot be improved, but must be unequivocally repealed. These laws are themselves prejudicial to public safety as they allow the unjust arrests and prosecutions of the people,” he said.

He added that efforts should instead be directed at improving the accountability of enforcement authorities and upholding the rights guaranteed under the constitution.

“If the aim of the 12MP is truly to build a more tolerant society and to achieve higher trust in our institutions, then the government must do away with laws that transgress protection of fundamental liberties,” he said.

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