KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 – The nation’s top cop today said that drug traffickers will have a field day if the Dangerous Drugs Act (Special Preventive Measures) 1985 was repealed, as suggested by human rights group Suaram. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, referring to calls by Suaram to abolish the Act, also said in a series of tweets that abolishing the Act would hamper police efforts to wipe out drug trafficking. “SUARAM kata Akta Dadah Berbahaya perlu di mansuhkan,” Khalid tweeted on his handle @KBAB51. (Suaram said the Dangerous Drugs Act should be repealed.) “Wahhhh seronok lah pengedar2 dadah.” (Drug traffickers will be very happy.)
“Usha @PDRMsia membanteras Dadah akan terbantut!” (Police efforts to stamp out drug trafficking will be hampered.) “@PDRMsia percaya Rakyat M’sia mahu PDRM banteras Dadah habis2 an.” (Police believe the rakyat want us to stamp out drug trafficking.) “Kalau ADB di mansuhkan, PDRM nak guna apa?” (If the DDA is repealed, what are the police going to use?) Khalid tweeted. Earlier today, Suaram demanded an end to the Dangerous Drugs Act (Special Preventive Measures) 1985. The DDA 1985 allows for detention without trial of suspected drug traffickers and kingpins, similar to the Internal Security Act 1960 and Emergency Ordnance 1969.
Free Malaysia Today quoted Suaram executive director Yap Swee Seng as saying that “a person could be arrested arbitrarily without warrant or reasonable cause”. “More importantly, those detained under this Act lose their right to a fair trial,” Yap told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur. Yap said the DDA had been ineffective in reducing drug-related crimes in Malaysia, citing statistics from the National Drug Agency which showed crimes had steadily increased between 2008 and 2013. He said that there were, in fact, other laws in the country that were more comprehensive, citing Section 117 of the Criminal Procedural Law as an example.
Yap said unlike Section 117, the DDA lacked transparency in police investigations and its allowance for a 60-day detention without trial was a cause for concern. More worrying were the numerous allegations by detainees who claimed they were tortured while in custody to force a confession. Given the many weaknesses of the DDA, Yap said Suaram was demanding “a fair trial for these detainees as it is a basic human right”. Suaram also called for all current detainees of the DDA to be released and investigated using a fairer law that does not violate their basic rights.