Thursday, 28 June 2012

Speaker rejects ISA torture motion, citing secrecy

A motion to discuss the alleged torture of those detained under the now defunct Internal Security Act (ISA) was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia in Parliament today.

"Suhakam has been there to interview the detainees. There has been action taken," argued Pandikar.

As for the matter of Iraqi national Sami Hammad, who is currently on hunger strike with several other detainees whose ISA detention is still ongoing, the speaker said that his case involves national security and is not suitable for debate.

parliament pandikar amin anwar ibrahim lim kit siang dap pkr pc 121108 02"In his case, it concerns (national) security and this involves secrecy. It is not logical for me to allow it to be discussed.

“There is no (urgent) need,” contended Pandikar (left).

Standing Order 18(1) states that House proceedings can be suspended and a motion to discuss a matter can be tabled if it is specific, requires urgent action and is of public interest.

Pandikar added that even with the new Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act 2012 superseding the ISA, detainees held under the old security law must still serve out the term of their detention order.

“This is allowed under Section 32(2)(a) of the new law, though the (home) minister has discretionary powers to rescind the order.”

NONEBakri MP Er Teck Hwa (left) filed the motion yesterday under Standing Order 18 (1), pointing to Malaysiakini and Suhakam reports that highlighted alleged torture of ISA detainees.

The reports came after a series of notes describing the incidents were apparently smuggled out of the Kamunting Detention Facility and distributed to the press and other parties.

Earlier today, the speaker also rejected in chambers another petition of appeal by Er filed under Standing Order 19 on the plight of residents of Pengerang, Johor who complained about problems over the relocation and replacement of cemetery sites affected by a Petronas refinery project.

The petition aimed to ask Parliament to discuss their plight.

In rejecting the petition, Pandikar pointed to technical errors in the document such as the presence of non-Pengerang residents in the list of signatories, and pointed out that the matter of cemetery land is under the state government’s purview, not the federal government.

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