KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s government on Tuesday submitted a controversial law that will require anyone charged with a crime to provide DNA samples, a measure some lawmakers fear will be used against opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim.
The bill started its second reading in parliament on Tuesday just as Anwar, who has been charged with sodomising a male aide, was standing in a by-election in which he hopes to return to parliament after a decade-long absence.
“Why are we being asked to debate this bill first. We have not had time to read and prepare for the debate. The time given is too short,” said Fong Po Kuan a legislator from the opposition Democratic Action Party. [more]
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.
Kuala Lumpur, July 22 (IANS) Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has again threatened to topple Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s government, saying he is “on track”, despite being haunted by a sodomy charge. He told media Monday that he would succeed despite attempts to “demonise and intimidate” him through the charge filed by a political aide last month that he said was meant to stop him in his track to bring the government down by mid-September.
“We are on track to take over the government. We want to pursue this agenda for reform,” a smiling Ibrahim said, adding: “Clearly, I am a political threat”.
He refused last week to to provide a blood sample for a DNA test, alleging that the sample could be tampered with. He was arrested for a night and then bailed out.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian cabinet has directed the home ministry to “put on fast track” the proposed DNA Identification Bill, but says it is not directed against Ibrahim.
The ministry has been told that the bill should be readied in time for the next session of parliament beginning Aug 18. Deputy Home Minister Chor Chee Heung has confirmed this, Nanyang Siang Pau newspaper said Tuesday. [more]
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