Prove existence of addendum decree for Najib’s house arrest, experts say

The existence of the (supplementary) addendum decree for former prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to serve a six-year house detention period needs to be proven first.

(Sinar Daily) – National Professors Council Legal and Management Cluster Head of the Governance Professor Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmood said the second question that arose was whether the Pardons Board had the power to make such a decision from a legal perspective.

He said these two questions would lead to whether the former Umno President could serve his prison sentence at home.

“If the Addendum Decree is proven to exist, why was it not included in the final decision of the Pardons Board?

“Furthermore, whether or not the Pardons Board has the authority to make such a decision, because according to the constitution, among its powers is the power to release and discharge someone and to reduce sentences.

“So, if putting someone under house arrest is part of the power of the Pardons Board, there is no need for amendments to the act and so on,” he said.

Meanwhile, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Professor of Law, Government and International Studies Dr Ahmad Martadha Mohamed said the relevant minister needed to declare beforehand any house as a prison to implement house detention since Malaysia still does not have such provision.

Martadha said if it was to be implemented, a new act needed to be enacted since existing penalties did not include house detention.

He said political detainees were previously placed at Kem Kamunting under the Internal Security Act (Isa), but it was closed after Isa was repealed and placed under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 or Sosma.

“Based on the Prisons Act 1995, the minister needs to first declare any house as a prison to implement house detention, meaning we need to enact an act. In existing prison sentences, there is still no provision for house detention.

“That is why the Prisons Department needs to have a mechanism on how it will be implemented.

“One of the questions is, where will the house detainees be placed? Can all houses be used or does the house in question need to have security features and control?

“Do the convicts need to wear ankle security devices like those we put on convicts who are on probation? In my opinion, there needs to be a clear act and mechanism related to house detention,” he said.

Martadha said provisions related to house detention were still unclear.

“If the government’s decision is clear, then we can implement it. But, we need to ensure that the processes are carried out first so that the mechanisms are easier to make.

“It is important so that later there will be no perception that we treat someone as special,” he explained.