Dewan Rakyat: Govt tables DNA bill

The New Straits Times Online
By : V. Vasudevan and Eileen Ng

The government has tabled the long awaited Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Identification Bill 2008, and it is expected to be debated and passed at the current meeting.

Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar quickly quashed any talk that the bill was politicallly motivated.

He said it had nothing do with the current sodomy charge being faced by de factor opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“Suspects have to give their DNA samples compulsorily,” said Syed Hamid in the lobby after tabling the bill for first reading yesterday.

“It is not politically motivated and has nothing to do with Anwar Ibrahim. The government has been working on this bill since 2001. It is ridiculous to attribute it to political motives,” he said.

Syed Hamid said the bill is not targeted specifically at any individual but to record the DNA of every person who is charged in court or arrested. He said the bill covered the extraction of DNA under all crimes covered by the Penal Code.

“There is no law at present on this aspect. What we are doing is introducing a law to regulate and govern the taking of DNA. I don’t think they (the opposition) should attribute a sinister motive to it. If there is a case in court and you are not guilty why should you worry about this bill,” he said.

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