Current Affairs

Release these men before Deepavali.

I know about window shopping. But here we have a bunch of police officers holding 25 men and trying to shop for a charge that will stick. 

As Diwali nears, we have been reading about the victory of good over evil and light over darkness.

But it looks like the lamp in the homes of these men will remain unlit because of these unlawful arrests. 

One of the mothers, I was told, is threatening to immolate herself if her son isn’t released by Saturday, the first day of the Festival of Lights.
And the irony is that the PJ magistrate has recently ordered for their release. But the police are adamant about not following court orders. 

These men were arrested for numerous criminal offences, which they did not commit, and were never charged. 

Their ordeal is a long drawn out drama where the men were charged with one offence after the other, none of which that stuck. 

For example they were initially arrested for a shooting incident that took place in Banting in September this year, investigated for a murder that took place in 2018, arrested under The Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA), The Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 or SOSMA and yet again rearrested for a murder that happened in 2016.

 At least two magistrates disallowed remand. And Tuesday this week, the Investigating Officer for the SOSMA case informed the families that the Deputy Public Prosecutor had minuted No Further Action (NFA) against the 29 men. 

But the twenty five men are still in detention while two managed to escape. 
Their families were also not informed of the arrests. 

They may be brought to court Friday, on the eve of Diwali, to be detained under POCA. 

Video footage that has surfaced shows the men huddled together, despite government’s social distancing “advice”. 

And this amounts to an atrocity crime, where the police are using their authority to send them from one prison to the other, increasing their exposure to possible Covid-19 infection.

While police high-handedness is nothing new in Malaysia, it has become even worse under the leadership of Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin.

While I ask the police to release all 25 men as ordered by the court, I also urge the government to set-up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as opposed to its watered-down version to ensure the police do not take the law into their hands.

Charles Santiago 

Member of Parliament Klang

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