And bravo to the CIJ (Centre for Independent Journalism) for speaking out. Following is the Malay Mail report. I ain't paid for circulating this! -- YL, Desi
No change to Evidence Act
Amendment has passed through all procedures and accepted as law, says Rais
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2012 - 13:31
by Hamzah Nazari
THE Cabinet’s decision to retain the amendment to Section 114(A) of the Evidence Act 1950 is in line with the prime minister’s call to put people first.
Barisan Nasional (BN) ministers and political leaders said the amendment was in the larger public interests and would not see an innocent person being penalised as the law was water-tight to prevent such occurences.
Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the Cabinet had on Wednesday found the amendment to be justified as it had already passed through all the necessary procedures and accepted as law.
The Cabinet had complied with Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s directive from Saudi Arabia to discuss the unpopular amendment, which critics say would make a person guilty until proven innocent.
Najib tweeted on Tuesday: “I have asked Cabinet to discuss section 114A of the Evidence Act 1950. Whatever we do we must put people first.”
The tweet coincided with Internet Blackout Day, an online protest organised by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) against the section.
Rais said there was nothing to fear in the provision because the presumption was something that could be explained by the accused.
“It is a presumption of fact, it is not a presumption of guilt. Therefore everyone who is subject to the charge that falls under the category of Section 114(A) will have the right to rebut in a court of law and it is up to the court to finally justify what is to be done,” he said.
“Section 114(A) as it was set out to be amended and details under its provisions give a presumption which is common and based on the rule of law,” Rais said after a function yesterday.
“On the government side, we have discussed it thoroughly and the point of view of the Prime Minister that it be discussed has been fulfilled,” he said.
He agreed though, that sentiments of certain parties must be heard and such hearings could be continued.
“You must understand the principle.
“Once parliament has debated it, and in this case it has been debated by both parties; the opposition and the ruling party, and parliament has officially passed this bill and it was already accepted as law.”
“Therefore to say now you have to do something else is actually a political afterthought, it is not something that is actually based on legality or non-legality of it,” he said.
Other related stories you can read at mmail.com.,my:)~~~~
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