Monday, August 02, 2021

PAC chair condemns threat to arrest him, accuses cops of breaking law

PAC chair condemns threat to arrest him, accuses cops of breaking law

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson Wong Kah Woh has condemned police threats to arrest him and accused them of obstructing the panel's proceedings.

Police today deployed the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) to prevent MPs from entering Parliament, which the government has suspended from sitting, but the PAC proceedings were still supposed to resume.

"I deeply regret the police action which failed to provide safe passage for members of the PAC for its proceedings with the Health Ministry in Parliament which was scheduled at 10.30am today.

"As the PAC chairperson, I had asked for passage (into Parliament) but was denied. The same thing happened to other members of the PAC who faced roadblocks even though we carried a letter signed by the Dewan Rakyat secretary for the proceedings.

"The police even threatened to arrest me if I did not leave the roadblock within two minutes," Wong (above) said in a statement.

PAC members were only finally allowed into Parliament with the intervention of Parliament's management, he added.

"This action was uncalled for and a threat to our role as PAC members. It goes against the motion instructing the inspector-general of police to ensure the passage of MPs into Parliament for any meetings approved by the Dewan Rakyat at the start of every term.

"It is also in violation of Section 124 of the Penal Code," he said.

Section 124 stipulates that anyone who attempts to induce or compel an MP to exercise or refrain from exercising his lawful powers is guilty of an offence that provides a punishment of up to seven years imprisonment and a fine.

After the intervention, Wong said the PAC hearing proceeded with testimonies from Health Minister Dr Adham Baba, Health Ministry secretary-general Mohd Shafiq Abdullah, Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency director Roshayati Mohamad Sani.

The hearing was on the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.

"The proceedings lasted for almost three and a half hours starting from 10.30am and is the fourth after one with the Finance Ministry on July 28," he added.

Wong said the PAC will deliberate on its reports and present its recommendations to the government for tabling in Parliament by October.

1 comment:

  1. Our Kerajaan Allah becoming Kerajaan Zalim like Bullyland....arrest 53 Hongkie elected legislators using dodgy excuses.

    But I expect some arrests by Kerajaan Mahiaddin soon.

    Hong Kong: Mass Arrests of Pro-Democracy Politicians
    Governments Should Hold Beijing Accountable for Arbitrary Action

    The Hong Kong government should not file charges against the 53 pro-democracy politicians arbitrarily arrested on January 6, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. All were arrested for “subversion” under Hong Kong’s draconian National Security Law (NSL), which the Chinese government imposed on June 30, 2020.

    The 53 men and women arrested span the spectrum of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. They include veteran politicians and activists, such as Leung “Long Hair” Kwok-hung and Claudio Mo, and newcomers who joined the movement during the 2019 protests. The latter include Jeffrey Andrews, a social worker serving the city’s ethnic minority community, and Lee Chi Yung, a disability rights advocate. Many represent a broad cross-section of grassroots society long excluded from the city’s governance.

    “Hong Kong authorities’ claims that discussing candidates and advocating for government action is somehow subversive is ludicrous,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch. “It’s increasingly clear that Beijing’s commitment to Hong Kong’s ‘high degree of autonomy’ isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”

    Hong Kong police said that a public opinion poll conducted in July 2020 regarding pro-democracy candidates for an upcoming Legislative Council (LegCo) election constituted “subversion.” They said those arrested violated article 22 of the National Security Law, which states that anyone who “organizes, plans, commits or participates” in “seriously interfering, disrupting or undermining” the performance of the Hong Kong or central government bodies are subject to a penalty of up to life in prison for “principal offenders.” Among the 53 arrested, police said, six were organizers.

    The legal definitions of “subversion” and other NSL crimes are overly broad and vague, and can include the peaceful exercise of human rights, enshrined in Hong Kong’s de facto constitution, the Basic Law. These rights are also protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is incorporated into Hong Kong’s legal framework via the Basic Law and expressed in the Bill of Rights Ordinance.

    All but one of those arrested are being released on bail. Charges have yet to be brought against the 53, though they have to surrender their passports as a condition of bail. The prosecution said that Wu Chi-wai, former chairman of the Democratic Party, has kept one of his passports even though he was ordered to surrender his travel documents as part of bail conditions in an earlier case. Wu remains detained.