Re-establishing ISA through POCA

For Immediate Release
12 July 2016

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the blatant abuse of police power in Dato’ R. Sri Sanjeevan’s arrests and calls for his immediate release.

Sanjeevan who is well known for his contribution as chairperson of MyWatch was first arrested on 22nd June 2016 following an allegation that he extorted money from a gambling den operator[1]. After the conclusion of his first remand, he has been subjected to a series of chain remand with the courts rejecting the final 3 remand applications put forth by the Royal Malaysian police.

At the conclusion of his 8th remand where the police failed to secure an extension for his remand, he was subjected to detention under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA). He has now begun the first 21 days of remand under POCA. Even before the conclusion of the 21 days, Bukit Aman D7 principal assistant director, Roslee Chik has divulged that the police will detain Sanjeevan under POCA for the full 60 days’ period[2].

If there is sufficient evidence against the said individual, there is no reason why the Royal Malaysian Police needs to subject a person under chain remand or detain a person under POCA as they can forward the case to the attorney general’s chamber for criminal prosecution. The abuse of law and the use of laws that permit detention without trial implies that the police have insufficient evidence to push for prosecute but still seek to punish the individual.

The latest case against Sanjeevan under POCA makes it clear that the Royal Malaysian Police utilize laws such as POCA to allow them to act with absolute impunity and serve as the judge, jury and executioner. Further the use of draconian provisions such as POCA against individuals that has clear history of being a part of civil societies makes it clear that POCA can be and will be abused like Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012. The use of POCA in such a manner effectively reintroduced ISA into the civil and political discourse in Malaysia and this dangerous trend must not be allowed to continue.

In these trying times where Malaysia is subjected to threats from terrorism, the Royal Malaysian Police must not tarnish their image in such a manner as it would weaken public trust and jeopardize the safety and interest of the public. On this note, SUARAM strongly condemn this unconscionable behaviour displayed by the Royal Malaysian Police and demand for Sanjeevan to be released immediately.

SUARAM also reiterate the call for the abolition of all laws permitting detention without trial including but not limited to the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, Prevention of Crime Act 1959, Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 and Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) 1984.

In Solidarity
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director