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It’s the innocent who should fear the Protection of Justice (Administration) Act

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Historian Thum Pingtjin and lawyer Sui Yi Siong Sui debated the recently passed Protection of Justice (Administration) Act in a BBC programme earlier today. While Mr Sui, a Legal Associate at Harry Elias Partnership, argued in support of the Act, Mr Thum, a Research Associate at the Centre for Global and coordinator of Project Southeast Asia at the University of Oxford, argued that its the innocent (not the guilty) ’d be most affected by the .

Commenting on the discussion in his , Mr Thum said:

“My central point was that is not the guilty who should fear the , but the innocent. Changing the law to a seizable offence means that anyone who is innocent but charged with the offense can still potentially be arrested, have their homes searched, belongings seized, undergo a lengthy interrogation, and a lengthy expensive court trial. This is problematic especially in light of how in recent years the Attorney-General has more aggressively pursued potential contempt of court cases, as well as numerous amendments to laws which have given the increased arbitrary to curtail freedom of speech.”

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