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31 July 2013
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PKR will strongly oppose any new version of an Emergency Ordinance (EO) because the BN has previously used such legislation to stifle political dissent rather than to fight crime.

Referring to reports of a new preventive law to tackle crime,  PKR vice-president N Surendran said today that such a law would pose “grave danger to the civil and political rights of all Malaysians”.

The law is reportedly being drafted by a committee headed by Minister Idris Jala, and is due to be tabled in Parliament in September.

“We will fight such laws at every stage of its tabling in the Dewan Rakyat, we will never surrender the fundamental rights of the rakyat,” Surendran said in a statement.

“We call upon the prime minister to drop the intention of tabling such laws, and instead focus upon creating a better-trained and more efficient police force.”

Surendran noted that, on one occasion in July 2011, the EO had been “misused” to arrest six PSM activists including a member of parliament.

“The police must also be freed from unnecessary political tasks on behalf of the BN, such as spying on and prosecuting opposition and civil society leaders and activists,” he said.

“Using the police for these unconstitutional political tasks is a serious waste of resources and demoralises the police force.”

Human rights activists and lawyers have also argued against a return to the EO era.
At a Proham forum, it was argued that existing laws, like the amended Prevention of Crime Act 1959, provide sufficient powers for the police to deal with serious crime.

Following a series of violent crimes, premier Najib Abdul Razak has mooted an EO-type law, in modified form, to enable the police to cope with such incidents.

The EO, which allowed the police to detain a suspect for two months without trial, was originally designed to enforce order after the May 13,1969 riots. It was abolished in 2011 and over 2,000 detainees were freed last year.

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