Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is perturbed by the extension of Patrick Teoh’s remand by the Johor police contingent for further investigation under Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998.
Prior to the remand application by the police, the Johor police chief, Ayob Khan expressed that the police will be seeking further remand as Patrick Teoh was according to him, uncooperative in the investigation. Ayob Khan’s notion that the remand can be extended for ‘uncooperative’ detainees is punitive in nature and manifestly unjust. The suggestion that an extended remand would make the detainee more amenable to ‘cooperating’ is malicious to say the least.
For any criminal offence, the preliminary investigation ought to have been conducted by the police prior to any arrest. The Johor police contingent in this case clearly has not done any preliminary investigation and hopes that the detainee would provide any and all information they requested to the detriment of his constitutional rights.
Furthermore, for an offence that poses no immediate threat to public safety, it is bizarre for the Johor police contingent to cross its state borders to arrest an individual in Petaling Jaya when the offence itself could have been investigated remotely. This is even more so absurd when the country is still under Conditional Movement Control Order and interstate travel is forbidden by default.
SUARAM calls for the immediate release of Patrick Teoh and calls for the Ministry of Home Affairs to conduct an inquiry into the action and rationale of the Johor police contingent course of action on this matter.