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Stop giving excuses, activist tells those against Shafie’s arrest

 | October 21, 2017

Tzu P Wong chides opposition for protesting against MACC's detention of Warisan president Shafie Apdal, saying it was done according to the law.


PETALING JAYA: A political activist has taken to task lawyers and opposition legislators critical of Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal’s arrest for “cherry picking” and misrepresenting the provisions of the law.

Tzu P Wong said they should stop making “nonsensical excuses” for Shafie over the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation into alleged corruption linked to his tenure as rural and regional development minister.

“As lawyers and lawmakers, you people should uphold the spirit of our laws, that is all men are equal under the law, including Shafie Apdal,” he said.

Wong said Malaysia has specific criminal laws such as Section 28 of the Criminal Procedure Code which allows detention for investigation for up to 24 hours before a suspect is presented to a magistrate, who may grant an extension of the detention by up to seven days or release him on bail.

“Although the burden of proof lies with the investigator and the benefit of doubt rests with the suspect, freedom is allowed for the law enforcement authority to investigate a crime.

“Hence, arrest and remand are sanctioned under the due process of law. This is the spirit of the criminal codes of our country,” he said in a statement today.

Shafie, who has been Semporna MP since 1995, quit Umno where he was vice-president in July last year to form Warisan.

He was arrested by MACC yesterday over its probe into alleged misappropriation of RM1.5 billion of funds from rural development projects in Sabah.

He was the 11th person to be arrested by the anti-graft agency in its ongoing investigation, with two of his younger brothers, Yusof and Hamid, among those arrested earlier.

Padang Serai MP and human rights lawyer N Surendran questioned the legal basis of the arrest, saying although MACC had the right and duty to carry out investigations, arrests and remands should be the exception and not the norm.

Wong said he also disagreed with the contention that Shafie should not be arrested as he was not a flight risk and had stated his intention to cooperate with the investigating authority.

“This is another clear case of cherry-picking to the point of distorting the laws by the opposition,” he said.

“Anything that is not to their liking or to their advantage is wrong and unrighteous.”

He said the investigation has to be carried out diligently in view of the severity and seriousness of the corruption and embezzlement case, the huge amount of money involved, and the number of suspects connected to the case.

“Arresting and temporarily remanding a suspect are necessary to investigate a crime as serious as this.

“Please bear in mind that all arrests and remands connected to this case have been sanctioned and allowed by the court,” he said.

No legal basis for Shafie’s arrest, says lawyer

Warisan president Shafie Apdal arrested by MACC

RM1.5b may have been siphoned from Sabah projects, says MACC


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