PKR MP disappointed by MACC’s response on lock-up uniform

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KUALA LUMPUR: A PKR MP today slammed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) defence of its practice of producing graft suspects in court dressed in the commission’s orange lock-up suit.

Human rights lawyer and Padang Serai MP N Surendran said MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad’s comment that the issue could be challenged in court was disappointing.

“There is no need for him to wait for someone to bring a test case to court.

“Dzulkifli should instead order an immediate review of the current operating procedures, in order to comply with the law.

“He should also reveal MACC’s standard operating procedure (SOP) on this,” Surendran told FMT today.

Surendran was asked to comment on Dzulkifli’s statement that those who were not satisfied with the practice could take the matter to court.

Dzulkifli had also repeatedly asked reporters to show the law’s stand on the practice.

Surendran said there was a police SOP prohibiting suspects from being brought to court for remand hearings in lock-up attire, which he noted was regularly breached by the police themselves at the remand courts.

“But the police SOP is an acknowledgement that it is wrong to bring suspects to court in lock-up uniform.

“Now surely, MACC cannot be having an entirely different SOP from the police on this,” he added.

Earlier today, Surendran had questioned MACC and the police for forcing suspects to wear the lock-up uniform.

This was after two high-profile MACC detainees were brought to court this week for their remand hearings dressed in MACC’s orange suit.

They are former Felda chairman Isa Samad and Penang exco Phee Boon Poh.

Surendran, citing Article 5 of the Federal Constitution as well as the Prisons Regulation 2000, said an arrested person could lawfully decline to wear the lock-up uniform.

“Being forced to wear these bright orange uniforms and being paraded thus in the court premises is humiliating to the arrested person and creates the perception that he is indeed a wrongdoer or criminal, even though the court has not pronounced guilt,” he said.

Surendran also said Regulation 168 of the Prisons Regulation 2000 made it mandatory for prison authorities to allow unconvicted prisoners to wear their own clothes.