DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, today (11th Oct. 1975) issued the following statement in Kampar when starting his two-day tour of the Batu Gajah Parliamentary Constituency and the Kampar State Constituency.
DAP has tabled a motion in Parliament to repeal the Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975.
I have given notice to Parliament to move a motion to repeal the 1975 Essential (Security Cases) Regulations when Parliament meets from Oct. 27.
I am also writing to the Prime Minister asking that at least two full days should be set aside at the very beginning of the Parliamentary meeting to debate the motion the repeal the 1975 Essential (Security Cases) Regulations.
A person charged under the security offences will find it quite impossible to secure justice, as (i) he need not be told of the charges on his arrest, (ii) he can be held up to 60 days although this violates the Constitutional guarantee of the freedom of the person from arrest; (iii) witness can mask themselves or wear hoods to hide their identity; (iv) as accused must prove his innocence; (v) police officers can use affidavits containing hearsays to support prosecution.
Under the Regulations, there is also limited right to appeal. Thus, Clause 30(1) of the Regulations provides that a person convicted of a security offence shall have right of appeal if he has been sentenced to less than three months imprisonment. However, the government can appeal against the sentence as being to light.
Again, Clause 5 of the Regulations provides that a person arrested for an offence punishable with death or life imprisonment cannot be nailed out until the final determination of the proceedings against him, including any appeal. This means that if A is arrested on a charge in this category, even if he should win the case and get acquitted, he cannot be released or bailed out should the government decide to appeal against his acquittal. This is most unfair.
The DAP is concerned at the whole host of more and more undemocratic laws and Regulations. The DAP calls on the Barisan Nasional government to respect the democratic rights of the people, and to uphold the democratic institutions if we are to fully prevent Malaysia from becoming a Second Vietnam, torn by internal guerrilla warfare in the towns and jungles.