The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) today praised the judiciary for ensuring that detention under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) follows due process.
This comes with the High Court in Kuala Lumpur declaring on Tuesday the remand of Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force (MyWatch) chairperson R Sri Sanjeevan under Act as null and void.
"In this case, the commission commends the judiciary for playing its crucial role in ensuring that detention under Poca follows due process," Suhakam chairperson Razali Ismail said in a statement today.
Razali said Poca allows for detention without trial and denies an individual's right to legal representation, which goes against internationally recognised human rights standards.
While effective laws are needed to combat crime and bring perpetrators to justice, they must be accompanied by stringent safeguards to prevent abuse of the law, he said.
'Review all detention without trial laws'
"The commission therefore reiterates its call to the government to review all laws that provide for detention without trial, including Poca, with a view to making them in line with human rights principles.
"Suhakam is ready to provide constructive formulations to effectively deal with accountability and to ensure the welfare and dignity of the detained person," Razali said.
Sanjeevan was released yesterday after posting RM18,000 bail at the Seremban Sessions Court and Magistrate's Court
The High Court in Kuala Lumpur had on Tuesday found that the warrant for him to be held at the Jalan Ipoh police remand centre was defective.
Sanjeevan was charged in the Sessions Court on July 19, with having a non-Malaysian citizen in his employment without the necessary permit.
He was also charged in a magistrate's court with extorting RM25,000 from one Gong Toh Hon, by threatening to expose the latter's supposed illegal gambling operations.
Sanjeevan was first arrested in Nilai on June 22 and remained in police custody until yesterday. He was released and immediately rearrested another eight times before he was remanded under Poca.