Not all juveniles detained are held under Poca: Muhyiddin

01 Feb 2019 / 20:19 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Not all juveniles arrested by the police will be detained under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca), according to Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Instead, he said they would each undergo a thorough investigation process and, if there was evidence of their involvement in any activities under Poca, then a further remand application would be made in court before the Home Ministry investigation officer started the inquiry process.

He said that based on the inquiry, the officer would submit a report to the Crime Prevention Board (CPB), which would then make an evaluation based on the officer’s report and police investigation papers before deciding whether to place the juvenile under police supervision, detention or be freed.

Based on the CPB statistics until Jan 30, only one juvenile was still serving two-year detention at the Special Rehabilitation Centre in Kluang, Johor for being involved in violent crimes and there was no one placed under police supervision outside prison, he said in a statement today.

Muhyiddin said the ministry was concerned and sensitive towards the welfare of all detainees, including juveniles, and that if there were any, they would be placed at the Special Rehabilitation Centre in Kluang, separate from the adults.

The minister said that during their detention, the detainees would undergo human capital development and rehabilitation programmes covering modules on religion, psychology, personality development, statehood and skills to prepare them for life after their release.

In addition, detainees were also given access to education at the School of Integrity, which had been specially created in the prison institution in cooperation with the Education Ministry, he added.

Muhyiddin said the juveniles could have their detention order terminated, converted to police supervision or even be freed if they reached a stipulated level of rehabilitation based on periodic assessments conducted by the ministry.

“The ministry also runs a Police Outreach programme aimed at explaining the rights of those placed under restricted residence as well as exposing them to job opportunities provided by the Department of Labour and welfare aid from the Social Welfare Department, counselling sessions, health checks by the State Health Department and experience-sharing sessions by those who have gone on to become successful.

“Basically, everyone who is under restricted residence order will be given the chance to attend the programme at least once,” he said.

Muhyiddin said that just like other detainees under Poca, juveniles too had legal rights to apply for judicial review or habeas corpus in the court to reassess whether the detention procedures were properly adhered to.

In fact, they could also submit a representation to the Advisory Board in the Prime Minister’s Department under Article 151 of the Federal Constitution to reassess the merits of their detention, he said.

Commenting on Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) remarks urging the government to release 142 children and juveniles detained under POCA, Muhyiddin said the figure mentioned was that from the police statistics for the year 2015 to 2017 on the arrest of juveniles believed to be involved in criminal activities.

He said of the 142, 25 were remanded for further investigation, 18 were freed, 87 were placed under restricted residence and 12 were detained at the Special Rehabilitation Centre.

He added that he had presented the statistics when answering a question by Klang MP Charles Antony Santiago at the Dewan Rakyat on Oct 31, 2017. — Bernama

email blast