Malaysia court awards $1.7 million to five former Internal Security Act detainees

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-president Tian Chua after being released from jail on 24 May 2013, following detention for allegedly making seditious comments at a political forum earlier that month. Malaysia's Court of Appeal awarded on Thursday da
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-president Tian Chua after being released from jail on 24 May 2013, following detention for allegedly making seditious comments at a political forum earlier that month. Malaysia's Court of Appeal awarded on Thursday damages of more than RM4.55 million (S$1.71 million), including interests, to five people over their unlawful detention in 2001 under the now-defunct Internal Security Act (ISA), state news agency Bernama reported. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PUTRAJAYA - Malaysia's Court of Appeal awarded on Thursday damages of more than RM4.55 million (S$1.71 million), including interests, to five people over their unlawful detention in 2001 under the now-defunct Internal Security Act (ISA), state news agency Bernama reported.

The five are Batu Member of Parliament Tian Chua; activist Hishamuddin Rais; Hulu Klang assemblyman Saari Sungib; Badaruddin Ismail and former PKR supreme council member Badrulamin Baharom, Bernama said.

A three-member panel of the appellate court decided unanimously to uphold a 2012 High Court decision which favoured the five, according to Bernama, but they also partly allowed an appeal by former Inspector-General of Police Norian Mai, the home ministry and the government on the amount of damages.

The panel reduced the compensation quantum for each of the plaintiffs from RM15,000 per day of detention to RM10,000 for between 41 days and 54 days.

The judges, however, upheld the High Court decision that Tan Sri Norian, the home ministry and the government must pay RM30,000 in aggravated damages per person.

Senior Federal Counsel Normastura Ayub, who acted for Tan Sri Norian, the home ministry and the government, had conceded liability over the unlawful detention.

The five had been arrested in relation to a rally on April 14, 2001, to mark the second anniversary of the conviction of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, who is now leader of the opposition alliance, for abuse of power.

They sued the Inspector-General and the government for unlawful detention suit in April 2004.