Six Chinese nationals will remain detained under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca).This came after the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed their legal challenge against their initial detention order for 59 days under the preventive law.Judge Azhar Abdul Hamid ruled today that the habeas corpus application has become academic as the 59-day detention period ran from Nov 3 last year.Following the expiry of the initial 59-day detention period in early January, the police had then applied for a further six-month extension of the detention period under Poca.The habeas corpus application was filed during the 59-day detention period.Azhar today also ruled that the court could not accept the six Chinese national’s legal team submissions that Poca does not apply to non-Malaysians.“I have gone through the submissions. I am of the opinion that the Act (Poca) is applicable to non-citizens (of Malaysia).“My finding is that the (Magistrate’s Court) ruling being challenged (regarding the initial 59-day detention period) has become academic, as the six applicants are now detained (for the renewed six-month period) respectively at Simpang Renggam, Johor, and Pahang.“The respondent’s PO (preliminary objections) are allowed, and the habeas corpus application is dismissed,” he ruled.The four respondents in the habeas corpus application are inspector Wayandiana Abdullah, the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court, the inspector-general of police and the government,Previously, the six Chinese nationals’ counsel, Gobind Singh Deo, submitted that his clients should be freed from Poca as the act does not apply to non-Malaysian citizens.After the decision was delivered in open court this morning, Gobind informed the judge that they would be appealing against the verdict.The lawyer added that they seek to fast track the appeal so that it could be dealt with during the remainder of the six-month detention period.The six Chinese male nationals are Jiang Xiang, Wang Jun Cheng, Li Jiang, Luo Hong Bin, Lei Meng and Yu Xiang Yu.They were arrested in a special police operation against online gambling syndicates. They were detained in October last year and were remanded for 59 days beginning Nov 3.In habeas corpus applications filed separately, the six sought a court order that their arrest and detention under Poca were baseless, not in compliance with procedure and mala fide (bad faith).They were seeking an order that Poca does not apply to them.
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