Malaysia

Azmin warns Prevention of Crime Act amendments could haunt Umno if “unlawful society” not defined

By JENNIFER GOMEZ
October 02, 2013

The Government should not get too excited in trying to pass the amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act as the law could also adversely affect Umno one day, warned PKR vice-president Azmin Ali.

In debating the Bill, the Gombak MP brought up the section where a detention order can be taken out against unlawful societies, adding that it was not clear what was defined as an unlawful society.

"At one time Hindraf was unlawful. And the Home Minister had declared Bersih unlawful, despite the fact that they were never registered as a society but is instead a coalition of NGOs and civil society.

"Who knows... if one of the Umno vice-president hopefuls loses in the Umno party polls, and he mounts a challenge in court, and the party is declared unlawful, and Umno members choose to march from PWTC to Dataran Merdeka, they can also be caught under this law," Azmin said in Parliament today.

He called on Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to explain and define unlawful societies.

"I know Umno is telling us not to be afraid, that it does not target political parties, but we don't know at this point which groups could become unlawful societies," he said.

Azmin also said that the opposition pact was agreeable to the government's efforts to combat crime, but was against detention without trial. - October 2, 2013.