CPC Amendments Violates Human Rights

For Immediate Release
6th May 2016

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is appalled by the proposed amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) that threatened to undermine fundamental rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and strongly condemn the attempt to restrict human rights and the malicious intent to devastate the ever shrinking democratic space.

The proposed amendments to the CPC that will be tabled in the upcoming Parliament session in May 2016 includes a shocking amendment that would restrict bail for ALL offences under Section 124 of the Penal Code. Section 124 have been invoked countless times over 2015 against civil activists and politicians during the #KitaLawan rallies and subsequently invoked against media such as the Malaysian Insider earlier this year.

Reflecting on the unjustifiable definition of public order and national security by the Government of Malaysia in 2015 and the arrests and investigation of civil activists, politicians and journalists under Section 124 of the Penal Code, it is self-evident that the Government of Malaysia have chosen to crackdown against dissenters through Section 124. The amendment to CPC and the denial of bail for offences under Section 124 would greatly strengthen the ‘bite’ of Section 124 and grant the Government of Malaysia power to imprison, punish and silent dissenters.

If the amendment to the CPC is allowed to pass, the farcical detention of Khairuddin Abu Bakar and Matthias Chang would no longer be an exception. It is likely that such detentions would become the norm with the denial of bail for those charged under Section 124 of the Penal Code. As such, it would not be wrong for us to consider the amendment of the CPC to be no more than an attempt to revive power akin to those granted by the Internal Security Act 1960.

SUARAM call for the Government of Malaysia to retract the introduction of this ludicrous amendment and cease with its blatant attempt to stifle civil liberties and human rights in Malaysia. Failure to put an end to this obtuse move would only put Malaysia one step closer to becoming a failed state and a laughing stock among our international peers.

In Solidarity,
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

Media must be independent and free from threats of repressive security laws

For Immediate Release
27 February 2016

Media must be independent and free from threats of repressive security laws
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) strongly condemn the blocking of news media website, the Malaysian Insider and the investigation of editors and officers of the Malaysian Insiders under security law.

The blocking of any website should only be permitted under the direst of circumstances and must only take place after thorough and transparent investigation by relevant authorities. The swiftness in which the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) took action and blocked the Malaysian Insider website implies that MCMC did not conduct any investigation into the matter and made an arbitrary decision to block the Malaysian Insider.

Further, considering the importance of independent media and news reports, editors and officers of any news or media group should not be subjected to investigation under security laws for the publication of news articles. The use of Section 124(I) of the Penal Code should not and must not be interpreted and used as a law to supress the media. The invocation of Section 124(I) in this context can only be seen as a blatant act of intimidation and a direct threat against media and news groups with detention without trial.

If any of the allegations reported by the Malaysian Insider is false as alleged by MCMC, the party taking actions against the Malaysian Insider should be by the aggrieved parties and not the Government of Malaysia. On this note, SUARAM calls for the unblocking of the Malaysian Insider and demand that investigations under Section 124(I) be stopped immediately!
Considering the standing of Malaysia as a member of the United Nations Security Council and the upcoming Human Rights Council sitting in which Malaysia would undoubtedly be under scrutiny, the Government of Malaysia must take proactive steps to fulfil its international obligations and maintain a positive image in the international community. The blocking of the Malaysian Insider and the investigations against its editors and officers would result in a failure by the Government of Malaysia in fulfilling the recommendations adopted by the Government of Malaysia in the Universal Periodic Review and undermine Malaysia’s standing and image in the international community.

In Solidarity

Executive Director
SUARAM