Indians with 8% of population over-represented in Simpang Rengam detention centre with some 48% of detainees held for suspected  criminal activities from the community

Media Statement (3)
Lim Kit Siang

(Parliament, Wednesday): Ten MPs from UMNO, MCA and DAP from the Parliamentary Caucus for Human Rights paid a three-hour visit to the Simpang Rengam Detention Centre yesterday.

The Simpang Rengam Detention Centre is over-congested.  The Simpang Rengam Prison was built to house 2,000 prisoners, but since doubling up as a Detention Centre under various preventive criminal laws like The Prevention of Crime Act 1959,  The Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 and  The Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985, the Simpang Rengam Prison/Detention Centre are holding 3439 prisoners and detainees or some 72 per cent exceeding its maximum limit.

Out of the some 1,600 detainees under the various criminal detention-without-trial laws, over a thousand are related to dangerous drugs while 574 for suspected criminal  activities. Indians with eight per cent of the Malaysian population is over-represented with some 48% of the detainees held for suspected criminal activities.

During the visit, the 10 MPs, four women and six men, visited the detention centres of both the men and women detainees, numbering 26, and had an opportunity to speak with the detainees.

The common and greatest concern of all the detainees is the uncertainty of their detention, as their two-year detention could be extended indefinitely.  The Police Royal Commission of Inquiry has recommended the repeal of the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959, and amendment of Section 3 of the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures ) Act 1985, which would mean the virtual close-down of the Simpang Rengam Detention Centre.

The Parliamentary Human Rights Caucus will be visiting the Kamunting Detention Centre on Friday at 10 a.m., after which the Caucus will meet in Parliament next week to come out with a report on the two visits.



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur, Deputy Chairman of Parliamentary Caucus for Human Rights  & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman