Tuesday, 13 August 2013

S'wak DAP weighs in against EO-like law

S'wak DAP weighs in against EO-like law
The Sarawak DAP has accused sections of the federal government of "allowing" a rise in crime and gun violence in order to reintroduce preventive detention laws similar to the Emergency Ordinance (EO).

Expressing his suspicions at a press conference yesterday, state party head Chong Chieng Jen (left) referred to remarks by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, a proponent of reining in "criminals" freed from detention centres when the EO was abolished at end 2011.

"This is a political conspiracy. As we all know that the EO gives tremendous power or uncontrolled power to the police, and to the home minister to suppress, oppress and arrest dissidents and opposition politicians (without giving reasons)," claimed Chong, who is the Bandar Kuching MP.

"Such arrests are not subject to (oversight by a) court of law."

He said there is no reason why the police cannot control crime, bearing in mind that the force receives the fifth-largest slice of the annual budget.

"The source of the problem lies in (deployment). Of about 112,000 police personnel, 40 percent are assigned to administrative, management and logistics duties; and 31 percent to the general operations force, federal reserve unit and light strike force.

"Only 9 percent of the personnel are assigned to the Criminal Investigation Department; 3.8 percent in the Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department and 1.4 percent in the Commercial Crime Investigation Department.

"All in all, only 14.2 percent are assigned to prevention, investigation and fighting crime. This is insufficient."

The police should deploy at least 50 percent of the personnel on curbing crime, he added, also questioning why the force has not done so despite recommendations to this effect.

The writer, who is based in Sarawak, uses a pseudonym  .

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