Decision to dump orange lockup garb a good move, says Miri lawyer

Datuk Lawrence Lai

MIRI: Lawyer Datuk Lawrence Lai yesterday welcomed the announcement by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) that it would be discontinuing the practice of bringing graft suspects to court in orange lockup attire.

He said the practice should never have been introduced in the first place as it created or gave the wrong perception that an accused was guilty even though he or she had yet to be convicted in court.

“A suspect is entitled to protection of law – that he is innocent until proven guilty,” he said when contacted yesterday following announcement by MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya on the discontinuation of the orange lockup garb.

Lai said the MACC decision is consistent with the standard practice of police in allowing their suspects to wear their own attire when produced in court.

In a statement yesterday, Latheefa explained the decision was in line with the presumption of innocence and Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution.

The MACC had come under fire in 2017 when it began producing graft suspects in court clad in the distinctive orange attire. The practice was defended by its then chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad.

Among the high-profile suspects who were brought to court in the orange suit were Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and former Felda chairman Tan Sri Isa Abdul Samad.

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