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Malaysia's lower house OKs new security bill

Publication Date : 18-04-2012

 

History was made when the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012, which seeks to repeal the Internal Security Act 1960, was passed in the Dewan Rakyat (lower house).

The bill will now have to be passed in Dewan Negara (Senate) and gazetted by the King before the ISA can be completely done away with.

The House approved the bill without amendments through a voice vote taken among the MPs.

Earlier, Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj (PSM-Sungai Siput) had proposed several amendments to the bill but this was rejected through a voice vote.

During the debate, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz admitted that the ISA had been misused in the past.

“However, we must look ahead and not dwell on ISA’s implementation back then,” he said, adding that incidents like the alleged “biased arrests” during Operasi Lallang in 1987 should not be repeated.

He said the government did not merely promise that no arrests would be made based on a person’s political beliefs but that such a move had been made into law.

In reply to Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PAS-Kuala Selangor) who said that the bill would still allow a pre-emptive decision to detain a person, Nazri argued that the government could not afford to wait “until the Petronas Twin Towers is blown up” before coming up with the proposed Act.

 

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