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Friday October 30, 2009

Changes to ISA should satisfy majority, says Hisham

PUTRAJAYA: The Government is confident that amendments to the Internal Security Act (ISA) will satisfy the majority of Malaysians.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, who chaired the final discussion on the amendments with a group of stakeholders yesterday, said he believed the changes would meet public expectations without compromising on safety and security.

However, he acknowledged that there were parties like the Bar Council which still wanted it to be abolished and replaced.

“We told the council to look at the new ISA first because we are confident they and many others will be satisfied with the changes that we will be making,” he told reporters.

Yesterday’s session saw Hishammuddin and the ministry’s officials meeting for about three hours with representatives from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Bar Council, Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club, National Council for Women’s Organisation and the National Civics Bureau.

He said that during the series of discussions, all parties agreed that there should be a law in place to protect the people against terrorism and militancy.

Hishammuddin said the ISA amendments would revolve around five areas – the length of detention, rights and treatment of detainees and their families, the power of the Home Minister, the use of ISA for political reasons and detention without trial.

Lawmakers would start fine-tuning the amendments to enable the Bill to be tabled in Parliament before the current session ends on Dec 15.

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