Thursday, December 24, 2009



The BN government should heed to the voices of the people and table in Parliament to review all laws where detention is allowed without trial in Malaysia. These laws could easily be abused by the officers on ground. The officers who initiated cases against citizens can easily call or threaten others to give 4-6 statements to give basis to get the Home Minister to issue certificates to send a person to detention in places like Spg. Renggam and Kemunting Detention Camp. IF you don't give statement to the tune of the officer, the officer can threaten to arrest you and send you to Spg. Renggam and Kemunting. To the detainee, the officer simply said that it was within the officer’s power to recommend for the issue for such an Order and also recommend the place and period of detention. He would not say that only the Home Minister has overall power over the matter. Those who have no counsels or could not understand the law were normally made victims. They were just ordered to sign documents presented to them. Most often that not, these documents were never been read and explained to the detainee, but, when affidavits filed for habeas corpus proceedings, the officer would say that everything had been done in accordance with the law.

Sources of information were normally not known and information for detention to the Minister was normally very vague. The Home Minister is under a duty to issue the Detention Order based on the information before him. He needs not call for evidence and the Courts also have no power to call the authorities to produce evidence to determine the truth or the correctness of the information.

This morning my client's case failed. The court said since the Minister has already issued the Detention Order, the Court could no more see into the illegality of the detention prior to the issue of the Detention Order because the issue of the Detention Order has rendered the matter academic. So my client's habeas corpus application in High Court Kuching, failed. Miserable law! You could not see what had happened behind the curtain. You can be sent to detention centres only based on vague or false information as in way could these information be verified.

I had fought many habeas corpus cases in Courts and this one this morning was a case of clear abuse of authority. My client was prosecuted for a dangerous drugs offence, but, evidence seems lacking. The prosecuting officer told the lower court that an application has been made to the Minister to send my client for detention for a period of two years and since an application has been made, the prosecuting officer was instructed to apply for a stay of proceedings, in which I objected. The court was told that if the Detention Order would not be forthcoming or that the Minister objects to the issue of the Order, only then the prosecution would seek to continue with the prosecution against my client. The authorities had wanted two bites at the cherry! Upon arguments by me the court allowed the charge on the dangerous drugs offence to be discharged.

Pending the issue of Detention Order, my client was detained in the police lockup for 60 days as allowed by the law. Then, an application to the High Court was made for the issue of a Writ of Habeas Corpus. The authorities only produced the Minister’s Detention Order at about 23hours on the 60th day of detention. My client being Chinese educated was just asked to sign all documents presented to him. When the matter was for hearing of the Application for the issue of the Writ of Habeas Corpus, the Court has no choice, but, to rule that the application for the issue of the Writ of Habeas Corpus based on grounds prior to the Detention Order has rendered the application to become academic. This caused my client’s application failed.

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