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Poca, Sosma open to abuse, double standards

Graphic: freemalaysiatoday.com

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Whether they are suspected terrorists, money launderers or economic saboteurs, all should be charged in open court, maintains Wishful Accountant.

As expected, right on cue, a former police chief has disagreed with plans to abolish the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) and the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma), claiming there will be a lot more criminals on the streets.

If that is the case, we wouldn’t need the police then, would we? We could just arrest all and sundry for any offence and lock them up under Poca and Sosma. This could be done by a civilian; we wouldn’t need an entire infrastructure to support the police force then, would we?

The right to trial is sacrosanct. See how politicians especially talk about innocent until proven guilty when they are caught. But then some want to deny this right to others. Just look at the number of people locked up without trial. How can democratic Malaysia support this?

Whether they are terrorists, money launderers or economic saboteurs, all should be charged in open court. If enough evidence cannot be found, then it is not the fault of the law; it is the lack of skills among the enforcement agencies – skills which will deteriorate further when people can be locked up without trial.

The current government could have easily used Poca and Sosma on the previous prime minister on the ground of allegedly sabotaging the national economy just as such laws were used against Khairuddin Abu Hassan. But it didn’t. Instead, Najib was charged in open court and free to even appear in Parliament and defend Sosma.

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The former police chief was also reported as saying it was difficult to catch gambling kingpins; so why not use Poca on them. So who decides which crime warrants Poca and which offences we just moan about for lack of evidence and witnesses?

Why don’t the proponent of such laws ask former Bersih leader Maria Chin Abdullah what she thinks of Sosma. Maybe she will be magnanimous and support this evil law and yes, Malaysia will win the next World Cup….

Wishful Accountant, who practises his trade, is a keen customer services and rights champion who spends his own time and resources chasing banks, utility providers, highway concessionaires and local councils on various public interest issues. Occasionally, he feels compelled to comment on political and social issues.

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