Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca, 18 July 1985 at 11.30 am.
DAP to challenge in court the legality of the government’s interpretation of the Dangerous Drug (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 that the Minister had no authority to overrule Advisory Board’s decision on extension of detention.
The Deputy Home Affairs Minister, Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, said yesterday that the Home Affairs Minister has no authority to overrule the Advisory Board’s decision to continue detaining 12 men at the Muar rehabilitation centre, which shows that the Home Affairs Minister and the government had misconstructed the provisions of the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985.
Radzi’s explanation that the Advisory Board’s recommendation on extension of detention order is
binding on the Minister is not in accordance with the law passed by Parliament.
Thus, s. 6(5) of the Dangerous Drugs (Special Prenevtive Measures) Act 1985, stated that the
minster may where the Advisory Board has reported under sub-section (4) of section 11 that in
its opinion the detention or restriction should be extended, direct that the duration of any detention
order or restriction order made under the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Order 1969 be extended for not more than two years.
The language of s. 6(5) shows that the Minister’s decision is a discretionary one, and not one where
he is bound by the Advisory Board’s recommendations. This is further supported by Sub-section (4)
of Section 11 of the Act, which reads:
“S.11 (4): Where the Advisory Board has reported that in its opinion the detention or restriction
should be continues or extended, the Minister may continue or extend the detention or restriction
of the person concerned”
It is clear that the Advisory Board’s recommendation is not binding on the Minister where its report
is for further extension. In such circumstances, the Minister has a duty to study the facts of the case, together with the Advisory Board’s recommendation, and decide whether to confirm or reject the Advisory Board’s recommendations.
The Home Affairs Minister – in this case, the Deputy Minister who is acting on behalf of the Minister
– had misconstrued the law in the extension of detention order of 12 men at the Muar Rehabilitation Centre, thinking that he is bound by the Advisory Board’s recommendations, when he is required by
law to apply his minds to the facts of the case to decide whether to confirm or reject the Advisory Board’s recommendation. For this reason, the minister had acted unlawfully in ordering the continued detention of the 12 detainees in Muar.
The DAP will challenge in court the legality of Radzi’s contention that the Home Affairs Minister has no authority to overrule the Advisory Board’s recommendation in ordering the continued extension of detainees under the Dangerous Drug (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985.
In this connection, the Home Affairs Ministry owe the people an explanation why government officials had to take a helicopter down to Muar on l5 July, the day the detainees are to be released to review their cases one by one. Surely nobody expects justice to be done in such haste. This is indeed ‘injustice by helicopter’.
Call on Home Affairs to act against Malaysians who help, shelter and harbor illegal Indonesian immigrants.
The Deputy Home Affairs Minister, Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, assured Parliament yesterday that the government would take firm action against illegal immigrants regardless of their countries of origin
or religious belief.
The government’s pledge is now am empty one for Malaysians can see for themselves the utter inability and unwillingness of the authorities to deal seriously with the problem of illegal Indonesian immigrants,
who have become a great socio-ecomomic as well as criminal problem.
Radzi said that last year 7,330 illegal Indonesian immigrants were deported. This is a most ridiculous figure, not only because most of these deported illegal Indonesian immigrants would have returned tp
Malaysia the next day, but because this figure is not even one per cent of the estimated total number of illegal Indonesian immigrants in Malaysia. The Indonesian Foreign Minister, Mochtar Kusumadjaja told the Indonesian Parliament that there are 500,000 illegal Indonesian immigrants in Malaysia, but I would estimate the figure from 800,000 to one million.
It is impossible for such a huge number of illegal Indonesian immigrants to come and remain in Malaysia without the active help, support, harbouring and shelter by Malaysians, including officials.
Yesterday, during question time in parliament, I told Radzi that I had documentation of how a penghulu in Pontian, Johore, was helping illegal Indonesian immigrants to remain in the country, and I had handed over this document to him in Parliament after the meeting.
This document which was dated 13 March 1984 was signed by the penghulu in Pontian, carried a photograph of the illegal Indonesian immigrant, his name and age and under ‘Surat Akuan Sementara’ and ‘Kepada Pihak yang Benkenaan’ had the following contents:
“Surat Akuan Sementara
Kepada Pihak Berkenaan:
Per : Kadeni Bin Sali – Umor 30th
Bahawa diakukan nama tersebut diatas adalah seorang rakyat Indonesia, yang berasal dari Selat Panjang Indonesia.
Beliau dating ke Malaysia atas tujuan untuk menziarahi saudara maranya, mencari perkerjaan/nafkah serta berhasrat untuk tinggal tetap di Malaysia sakiranya mendapat kemudahan dari pihak berkenaan.
Sekian bagi makluman dan pertimbangan pehak berkenaan jua.
There must be tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of such letters issued by penghulus and other persons in authority which gave support and help to illegal Indonesian immigrants.
I hope the Deputy Home Affairs Minister will take firm action against the penghulu who had issued such documentary support to illegal Indonesian immigrants.