Ramkarpal lectures MCA leader over ex-convict Selva Kumar

ramkarpalsingPETALING JAYA: DAP’s Ramkarpal Singh today took to task an MCA leader for accusing him of defending former convict Selva Kumar Subbiah and other sex offenders, saying he was merely stating what is allowed by Malaysian law.

The Bukit Gelugor MP said Heng Seai Kie, who heads MCA women’s wing, was confused when she suggested that Selva Kumar be tried again for rape under Malaysian law, despite having been found guilty and serving time in a Canadian prison.

“All I said was that a person cannot be convicted or acquitted twice for the same offence as this contravenes the rule against double jeopardy which is guaranteed under Article 7(2) of the Federal Constitution,” he said.

“It is my respectful view that a person ought not to be convicted twice for the same offence. That is a constitutional right of any person in this country.”

Ramkarpal however agreed with calls to introduce a sex offenders’ registry in Malaysia to monitor those convicted of sex crimes.

Heng had earlier suggested that the principle of double jeopardy, which disallows a person from being tried for the same offence twice, should not apply to sex offenders.

Ramkarpal said there was no need for a new conviction in order for a person to be included in a sex offenders’ registry.

“I am unable to see the need to obtain a new conviction here for the same offence committed overseas in order for the said offender to be registered on the said sex offenders’ register here,” he said.

Selva Kumar, 56, arrived in Malaysia today, more than three decades after he left the country for Canada.

In 1992, a Canadian court found him guilty of sexual assault, drug abuse, extortion and various other charges, and sentenced him to 24 years’ imprisonment.