SHAH ALAM, 3 Oct: The Barisan Nasional (BN) Government is taking a “huge step backwards” on human rights by returning to laws that allow detention without trial, said global rights advocate Human Rights Watch.
Its deputy Asia director Phil Robertson insisted that the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) would only serve to infringe on the people’s liberty without serving its stated purpose of decreasing crime.
“The Malaysian government should immediately scrap proposed amendments to a law that would reinstate detention without trial for people the authorities believe have committed two or more serious offenses,” Robertson said in a statement issued before the amended PCA was passed in Parliament early this morning.
Robertson said, with the amendment, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will threaten the freedom of the people and give the country a bad reputation on the world stage.
He recalled Najib’s pledge in September 2011 to make Malaysia a “functional and inclusive democracy, where peace and public order are safeguarded in line with the supremacy of the constitution, the rule of law and respect for basic human rights become a reality”.
Previously, efforts by Pakatan Rakyat MPs to derail the approval of the bill were unsuccessful when it was approved by the majority of supporters of the Barisan Nasional government.