Home Civil Society Voices 2016 Civil Society Voices Misinformed minister or minister ignorant of issues under portfolio?

Misinformed minister or minister ignorant of issues under portfolio?

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Suaram is surprised by Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan’s view suggesting that Malaysia adopts a ‘soft’ legal approach in addressing the issue of terrorism and shocked by his belief that torture has not been used against alleged terror suspects in Malaysia.

Suaram has documented countless cases and incidents where torture was used as the primary means to extract a confession or to coerce a false confession from suspects that were arrested on suspicion of committing an offence.

The practice of violence also extends to alleged terror suspects and such incidents have been thoroughly documented and reported by Suaram throughout the years. The families of the victims of torture has also filed their respective report to Suhakam and other relevant agencies for investigations.

Further, contrary to the view that Malaysia’s law on terrorism is soft, the provision that enables detention without trial such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 makes it abundantly clear that our laws are not ‘soft’ as described.

The application of different type of ‘preventive’ laws on a suspect for the same offence makes the existing laws that are already uncompromising no better than the practices of Guantanamo Bay.

The minister’s ignorance of these issues and the inability to understand the concept of ‘soft’ legal approach against terrorism would suggest that the minister would require further sensitisation on the issues under his portfolio. Failure to be up-to-date on these crucial issue may very well put the safety and security of Malaysia in jeopardy.

Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram.

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