Panel, including former IGP, solicitor-general, says Poca now inert, calls for remedy

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — There must be a concerted effort to empower the police to fight organised crime as the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) is now inert, said a panel of top government officials that included former inspector-general of police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hassan today.

During a discussion on Poca, Musa, together with other panellists — former solicitor-general Datuk Seri Abdul Razak Musa and former deputy head of prosecution Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusof — said that the police were currently under-equipped to tackle the intricate and violent nature of organised crime.

“Organised crime groups are criminals that have networking as well as financial backers, and because of this, the police need to obtain more information to identify their networks.

“And (laws like Poca are needed to) make sure the criminals are prevented from committing crimes that can cause social problems in the country, which includes prostitution, gambling, triads and human trafficking,” he said.

Musa suggested that the Home Ministry and the attorney general work to amend Poca so that it no longer clashed with the Federal Constitution but would still give police similar powers.

Sections 4 and 15B of Poca were deemed unconstitutional in April by the Federal Court, for violating the doctrine of separation of powers as stipulated under the Federal Constitution.

Section 4 spells out procedures for magistrates when granting remand orders to the police.

Meanwhile, Section 15B, which is an ouster clause, prevents judges from inquiring into the grounds for detention for a person held under Poca.

Musa said that after the Federal Court decision, the police have stopped using Poca for the time being.

Criminologist associate professor Mohammad Rahim Kamalludin, who was also on the panel, said that the public must understand that laws like Poca were needed because organised crimes tend to involve criminals who are highly intelligent and capable of concocting extravagant schemes.

When questioned by reporters after the event, Musa said that the police don’t use protective laws to prosecute politicians.

“It doesn’t count whether someone is a politician or not. It can’t be that politicians don’t commit wrongdoings, right?

“So the police only take action on the wrongdoings committed,” he said.

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Datuk Seri Abd Jalil Hassan said that the panellists’ views would be compiled and brought to the Home Ministry and Attorney General’s Chambers for further action.

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