KUALA LUMPUR: The Government has tabled six bills to deal with the growing domestic and international threat of terrorism.
Two of the six bills, the Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2015 (POTA) and the Special Measures Against Terrorism in Foreign Countries Bill 2015, were tabled for their first readings while the rest are amendments to existing laws including the Penal Code and Prevention of Crime and Security Offences (Special Measures) Act.
The Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2015 was tabled for first reading on Monday following the tabling of a White Paper on tackling the Islamic State’s threat by the Prime Minister on Nov 26 last year.
Among other provisions, the Bill enables a person who has been engaged in terrorist acts to be detained for up to two years in the interest of Malaysia’s security after a detention order is issued.
The Bill also paves way for a Prevention of Terrorism Board to be established.
The Special Measures Against Terrorism in Foreign Countries Bill, meanwhile, seeks to provide special measures to deal with anyone who engages in activities involving listed terrorist organisations in a foreign country.
The Bill also allows for passports and travel documents to be revoked to prevent a person from travelling to a foreign country to engage in terrorist acts.
A proposed amendment to the Penal Code was also tabled to make it an offence to receive training and instruction from terrorist groups and persons committing terrorist acts.
The Bill further seeks to criminalise possessing or having control of items associated with terrorist groups such as flags, banners and publications. Under the new law, a person guilty of this offence can be jailed up to seven years or fined.
The Prevention of Crime Act, meanwhile, seeks to include terrorists as part of the Act. It also introduces a new subsection that states that no person shall be arrested “solely for his political belief or political activity”.
The Special Offences (Special Measures) (Amendments) seeks to introduce new sections which provide that in any security offence cases, statements of an accused made at any time are admissible as evidence.
It also provides that a spouse shall be compelled to disclose any communication made to him or her during marriage.
An amendment to the Prison (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2015 seeks to empower the Minister to appoint lock-ups at any police stations and court houses for the confinements of anyone remanded under the proposed Prevention of Terrorism Act.
The Home Ministry also tabled amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code to deal with organised crime including increasing the reward to members of the public who help apprehend criminals.