Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You will be subjected to DNA Act soon!

The bill on DNA was tabled for second reading in Parliament today. And the debate at policy stage has started. This bill was tabled only last week and it was originally slotted after the debate on Universities and Universities Colleges Act (UUCA). But the sequence for debate in the Order Paper was changed yesterday morning to give priority to the DNA bill to be debated first. The government seems to be bulldozing the bill within this week itself! What is your conclusion? Mine is that the government gave higher priority to "someone" sodomy charges than the future of our university students.

The PM said the bill was nothing to do with any particular case and it was planned many years ago. If we have already waited a few years, why can't we wait another few months? It is very clear the bill needs to be passed as soon as possible as wanted by the government. The Human Rights Committee of the Bar Council presented their views to DAP MPs in Parliament this afternoon and we held a press conference to highlight the matter. The bill is very important in the sense that it might be applied to anyone. If you are detained by the police even on minor offences, you are legally obligated to give your DNA.

Our position is that while we acknowledge the importance of DNA is solving criminal cases, there must be sufficient safeguards in the law to protect everyone and prevent it to be misused by the authorities. In this case, the police is given absolute power to govern the whole thing. The head of the DNA data bank is a police officer, those who take the samples are police officers and they are managing it as well. There is not check and balance in the system. The authencity of the samples cannot even be challenged in court!

And the bill did not go through the process of consultation with the staekholders, NGOs, Bar Council, criminalogists and other relevant experts. Even some backbenchers agreed that there are many loopholes in the bill including the MP for Kinabatangan Bung Moktar. I have suggested that the bill should be referred to a Parliamentary Select Commitee so that a nationwide public hearings can be held to obtain feedbacks from all stakeholders to ensure a proper bill can be presented to the Parliament which take into considerations the views of the civil society.

Here are some of the concerns raised by the Bar Council:

1. There are no safeguards in relation to the storage and testing of DNA samples and for DNA profiles as well as how they are to be handled. No regulations were prescribed.

2. No provision for the accused to do his or her own independent DNA test which means that the accused have no way of testing the authenticity of the DNA sample claimed to be his or hers.

3. Categories of persons from whom samples may be taken from are to arbitrary and wide meaning that regardless of whether or not one is being investigated for an offence, DNA sample can be extracted from them.

4.Criteria and power safeguards are lacking in relation to suspected and convicted persons rendering it susceptible to manipulation

5. Privacy rights is illusory and those who refuse to provide samples will be subject to punishment and criminalisation

6. The bill would mean that those who have not been charged or convicted prior to the passing of the bill would be affected by it

7. Destruction of samples should not only be permissive but mandatory after a certain period of time as this provision will leave the head of the DNA databank discretionary powers to do anything with it.

8. Clause 18 of the bill gives no assurance that the extracted DNA sample is not to be used and stored somewhere else after it has been used for a particular case.

9. Clause 24 of the bill states that the extracted samples are conclusive evidence which means that the court and the accused have no authority to question the process of the DNA profiling.

10. Without proper DNA data protection laws, the power to export DNA samples to foreign law agencies should be curtailed all together.


Bentoh said...

Some report saying that the bar council rep Mr Edward Bon said "we are not against DNA data bank"...

For GOD sake... DNA data bank is a no-no...

No one in world currently dares to even set up a DNA data bank... it is... well.. a defy to humanity... and treating us basically like most of the lab sample... tagging us with Homo sapiens 0406 etc...

the DNA bill will break rakyat's first line of defense of DNA privacy... and judging from the past experience... when first lone of defense is gone... the core will then start to rot!

Can we then pay up the police to detain a person... extract his/her DNA... and as such obtaining a person's DNA sequence and genetic information?

Anonymous said...

with the trustworthy of police, can we give our DNA to them ???

Can't all opposition MP reject the bill ?

OMGGosh said...

BN Govt. want to show the world Malaysia Boleh.

MCA,MIC,Gerakan all quiet about it.
Where is Dr Chua Soi Lek when you need him?

God Save Malaysia.Tuhan Selamatkan Malaysia.

Bentoh said...

Oh BTW... news report says the house has only 10 Opposition MP while debating this bill...

not sure bout BN's though...

Syabas... our MP's job is to campaign...

Foo Yoong said...

The stakes and risks are high if the rush for DNA bill is allowed. What if the initial objective is for crime reasons and amended to cover street protestors or even bloggers who oppose the government!

Anonymous said...

MB Negeri Sembilan kata 'pergi mampus'...

SEREMBAN, 28 Ogos (Hrkh) - Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan, Dato' Seri Mohamad Hasan, mengeluarkan kenyataan yang kurang sopan di dalam persidangan Dun Negeri Sembilan semalam kerana berang dengan tindakan Adun Pakatan Rakyat yang keluar dari dewan sebagai tanda protes.

Persidangan Dun yang bermula jam 10 pagi itu menjadi kecoh apabila Ketua Pembangkang, Loke Siew Fook (DAP-Lobak), menyuarakan rasa tidak puas hati Adun Pakatan Rakyat kepada Speaker Dato' Razak Mansor kerana penggiliran sesi soal jawab ketika perbahasan hanya mengutamakan kepada Adun Barisan Nasional (BN) sahaja.

Adun BN pula akan melengah-lengahkan masa dan membangkitkan soalan yang tiada mempunyai kepentingan langsung terhadap permasalahan rakyat sehingga menyebabkan Adun Pakatan Rakyat tidak berpeluang untuk membangkitkan soalan kerana masa sudah tamat.

Loke mencadangkan supaya diselang-selikan soalan di antara wakil BN dan Pakatan Rakyat supaya ianya adil kepada kedua-dua belah pihak seperti yang diamalkan di Parlimen mahupun di negeri-negeri yang diperintah Pakatan Rakyat.

Walaubagaimana pun, ianya ditolak oleh Dato' Razak dengan alasan peraturan itu telah dijalankan sejak sekian lama dan memang diamalkan di dalam persidangan Dun Negeri Sembilan, ini menyebabkan 15 Adun Pakatan Rakyat bertindak keluar dari dewan pada pukul 10.30 pagi kerana memboikot persidangan Dun tersebut.

Mohamad Hasan yang jelas berang dengan tindakan itu mengatakan 'pergi mampus' kepada pembangkang sambil diiringi sorakan Adun BN yang lain ketika menggulung perbahasan pada pukul 12.00 tengahari.

"Mereka ingat saya takut, 'pergi mampus' sama mereka, mereka tak ada pun kita boleh bersidang juga lagi senang kita buat kerja," kata beliau dengan nada marah.

Akhirnya persidangan Dun kali ini ditamatkan pada pukul 12.30 tengahari iaitu antara tempoh persidangan Dun yang terpendek sedangkan notis yang diberikan sebelum ini untuk dua hari. - mks. _


P130 Voter said...

I know that PR MPs staged a walk off during the second reading of the bill, although it may seen macho, please remember this, the job of MP is to debate and be a voice for the Rakyat in the Parliament. By NOT being there, you guys are not doing what was intended to be. Rather silly if you ask me.

If you disagree with the bill, then vote against it, staging a walk out is not helpful at all thank you.

P130 voter

Jewell said...

Good words.