PETALING JAYA: The Cabinet has instructed the Home Ministry to reach out to the Bar Council and other non-governmental organisations unhappy with amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA).
Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Prime Minister during the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday voiced his concern about the criticisms over the PCA amendments that have been raised by various groups.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants the ministry to step up its engagement with the groups.
“So, what I will do after this is that if there is any aspect of the PCA which is not satisfactory to the Bar Council and other NGOs, we can discuss it; and if further amendments need to be done to the PCA in the coming meeting of the Dewan Rakyat, then we will do it,” Dr Ahmad Zahid said in an interview.
The Dewan Rakyat during its last meeting passed amendments to the PCA.
Ten other security laws related to the PCA are scheduled for a second reading in the House next week.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said that apart from raising their concerns about the PCA, the Bar Council and other NGOs could also give their views about the proposed amendments to the 10 other security laws, which include the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
“We will not shut the door of engagement in efforts to strengthen the security laws which are not cast in stone in the first place,” he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid denied that the Government failed to engage stakeholders before tabling the amendments.
He said that apart from discussions conducted by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, there have been various forums on the security laws involving groups such as the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation and the Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham).
On a related matter, Dr Ahmad Zahid said police would start forfeiting assets of secret society kingpins by March next year once the amendments to the security laws related to the PCA are gazetted.
“The asset seizures will begin after the amendments to the 10 security laws are passed by the Dewan Rakyat and the Dewan Negara and we expect the operation to start some time in the first quarter of next year. Operationally, we are ready to move and start the seizures,” he said.
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