By Boo Su-Lyn

A lawyer lambasted the authorities today for detaining three youths under the Emergency Ordinance 1969 instead of charging them in court for alleged theft.

“The Emergency Ordinance is used as a shortcut to purportedly try to reduce crime,” said the youths’ lawyer Edmund Bon at a press conference today.

“(There are) more than sufficient laws under the Penal Code to charge these boys,” added Bon, who is also a campaigner in the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism & Human Rights.

Muhammad Arif Abu Samah, 19, Mohamed Ramadan Mohamed Ali, 22, and Mohamed Rafe Mohamed Ali, 20, were arrested on March 8 for allegedly stealing motorbikes, and subsequently banished to Johor, Pahang and Kedah on May 17 for two years under a restriction order under the EO.

Bon said the youths’ lawyers will likely mount a legal challenge against the government’s decision to maintain the 1969 Emergency Proclamation.

This article was originally posted by the now-defunct news portal The Malaysian Insider on 31 May 2011.

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