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A 3am arrest of Sanusi dents Anwar Ibrahim's leadership

Voon Lee Shan writes, 20-7-2023
POLITICIANS and people of high places should not directly or indirectly be seen to be involved in law enforcement or how law enforcement officers should conduct their work. They should be extra careful with their comments as any comments they made especially on arrest of a rival politician can be twisted and become a weapon against them. It could be a silly mistake if the government will fall because of the arrest.

The recent arrest of MB Kedah had dented the image of the government under the leadership of Dato Sri Anwar Ibrahim. I never came across with such degree of efficiency of the police who could complete the investigation within a few days only in any criminal case. This gives an impression of possible interference or influence by powerful people in this investigation. At the same time, this could give the impression from public that law enforcement officers are weak and could easily be influenced by politicians and powerful people.

If we want to respect the law and the dignity of law enforcement officers, let law enforcement officers do their job without pressure from any quarters. 

To search and arrest any person during late night or early morning should not be encouraged because we're dealing with ordinary citizens, not terrorists. People could be put to unnecessary fear of the police especially if police officers came in huge numbers, heavily armed with their special blue lights from their vehicles switched on. This can unnecessarily attract the attention of people and embarrass not only the family of the suspect but the people of the neighborhood who could be the suspect's friends and acquaintances. It also can give the impression that their neighbourhood is not safe.

Search and arrest made that way can interrupt the peace of the neighborhood and interrupt people, especially children and babies who are sleeping. 

People may just be woken up during the night to find out what went on and may stay awake for the whole night and be deprived of their sleep after that. Some people just couldn't sleep after being interrupted because of fear, distress and anxiety of police presence. 

Some sick people will find it disturbing and this can aggravate their health. 

The right to sleep is closely interwined to the right to life and right to life is protected by the federal constitution. 

There is an Supreme Court of India decision on the right to a peaceful sleep. Although the decision of the Supreme Court of India is not binding on us, I think we should be more civilized in dealing with our own citizens.

Voon Lee Shan is a lawyer and the President of Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK)

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