Ahmad Zahid: Emergency Parliament sitting to table anti-terrorism bill possible

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: The urgent need for new laws to combat the rise of terrorist activities in the country may see the proposed bill tabled at an emergency Parliament meeting before its next scheduled session in March next year, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) said Wednesday.

"It is extremely urgent and the Prime Minister has directed me to table it during the next parliament proceedings in March. However, if need be, we will probably convene a special session for the purpose before March " said the Home Minister, describing the terrorist threat as a real and tangible danger to the nation.

He said there were worries that the Islamic State (IS) militant groups would eventually form pacts with other radical militant and extreme groups in the region to spread their influence here.

He said the new anti-terror law would be preventive in nature as compared to the present Penal Code, Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) and Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) 1959, which is used after the commission of an offense.

"We will be studying the anti-terror laws adopted by six countries and will take the best to suit our own mould," he said, hinting that the new law would include provisions for detention without trial akin to current laws under Poca.

However, he allayed fears that the new law would be abused as a political tool.

He cited the provision under Poca for detention without trial, which could only operate following authorisation from the Crime Prevention Board comprising five members and not based on the Home Minister's discretion.

He added that the new law would also look at rehabilitation of detained suspects.

Zahid said that views of lawmakers including from legal experts would be taken into account when drafting the new law.

Related story:
New anti-terror law sought to combat IS threat

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