Were the rights of former journalist Sidek Kamiso and Ratu Naga or Syarul Ema Rena Abu Samah disregarded when they were taken into police custody?
According to Section 23 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the police can make an arrest without warrant. It should be an arrest over a seizable offence. However, the line between a seizable office and non-seizable offence has been blurred.
For seizable offences, such as murder, robbery or theft, a police officer can arrest the suspect with or without warrant or order from the Public Prosecutor in the course of his investigation.
On the other hand, a “non-seizable offence” is an offence where police officers are only allowed to make an arrest with a warrant, according to the third column of the First Schedule to the CPC.
The police cannot make an arrest without a warrant if the punishment of the offence is less than three years.
DAP Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng urges Sidek Kamiso and Ratu Naga to come forward and seek clarifications.
“The bench as in the judges need to come forward with a clarification pertaining to these two situations.
“The bench needs to clarify if the MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) have the power to order such arrests.
“They need to come forward as soon as possible as the way these arrests are done is not necessary but no one is coming forward with a fair statement,” he says.
Lim, who is also a lawyer, adds that because there is no clear cut solution to these arrests, lawyers are coming forward with their personal opinions on the matter hence making the situation worse.
“Bar Council, because it represents all lawyers in Malaysia, needs to come forward with a statement to speak on behalf of the lawyers as this is very subjective issue.
“If lawyers have their personal opinion, this is where mixed opinions will drag the matter on without a solution,” he says.
He says Sidek and Ratu Naga have their rights and the government should recognise that as it is a signatory to the United Nations Treaties.
“The police force’s actions of such arrests may just have breached one of the treaties. I’m not sure which one, but they could have violated both Sidek and Ratu Naga’s rights with how they conducted the arrests,” says Lim.
Soo Wern Jun