(Bernama) – He said the police were losing their powers to record statements of witnesses and could not compel witnesses to appear in the court.
Legislative transformations carried out by the Attorney-General’s Chambers to replace the Emergency Ordinance (EO) with new laws need not burden the police in their effort to reduce the crime rate in the country, said Home Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said the new legislation needed to be similar to the EO which enabled police to have the power to fight crimes especially serious crimes.
“We (Home Ministry) do not want to contradict what is being done by the Attorney-General to carry out legislative transformation. But we must understand the police are toothless when there is no EO.
“Do not see only from the legal perspective but from all aspects to fight crime,” he told reporters after attending a breaking of fast event of the National Anti-Drug Agency here last night.
According to him, since the EO was repealed, incidents of organised or serious crimes increased by 90 per cent which were carried out by former criminals.
Ahmad Zahid had recently reportedly said that following the repeal of the EO, 2,600 detainees at the Simpang Renggam Detention Centre in Johor were released and that many of them returned to lead a life of crime.
He also requested Malaysians to understand the position of police who were now powerless.
He said the police were losing their powers to record statements of witnesses and could not compel witnesses to appear in the court.
Therefore, he said, the community should not blame police when the crime rate increased.
“We are not seeking the people’s sympathy but understanding on the police’s duty in arresting criminals but having to release them for lack of evidence.
“Prior to this, Inspector-General of Police (Tan Sri) Khalid Abu Bakar had also requested for a new law similar to the EO to curb serious crimes like shooting,” he said.
According to Khalid, without EO and no witnesses coming forward to assist in investigations, criminals were getting bolder to carry out radical and aggressive crimes such as shootings.