Saturday, September 17, 2011

2 new laws to replace Internal Security Act

The Internal Security Act (ISA) – is to be repealed some 50 years after it was first drawn up, in its place will be two anti-terror laws, not unlike the ones drawn up in the USA and Britain to handle terrorists, violent criminals and subversive elements.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the new laws would be in line with Article 149 of the Federal Constitution and promised Malaysians that no one would be detained due to their political ideology.

“In my maiden speech when I took over as Prime Minister, I promised that the ISA would undergo a comprehensive review. As such, I would like to announce on this historic night that the Act will be abolished.

“Two new laws will be enacted to maintain peace, harmony and prosperity. The laws that will be formulated will take into account basic rights and freedom based on the Federal Constitution. Above all, the Government will ensure the rights of those involved will be protected,” he said.

Najib said the new laws would provide for a substantially shorter detention period. Any further extension to the detention could be made by a court order, except for those laws related to terrorism, which would remain under the relevant minister’s purview.

“The Government is also giving its commitment that no individual will be detained purely based on political ideology. In a modern day democracy, there must be a balance between national security and individual freedom; this is the responsibility of the Government, whose highest aim is to uphold people’s welfare and harmony."

He said although freedom of expression was guaranteed under the Federal Constitution, this did not mean that anyone could commit slander or stoke hatred.

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