PETALING JAYA: The Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) to curb terrorist activities in Malaysia has officially come into force as of Sept 1, the Home Ministry said in a statement.
The act will allow authorities to take action against Malaysians suspected of being involved with the Islamic State or other terrorist organisations.
A new law, known as the Special Measures Against Terrorism in Foreign Countries 2015 (Smata), was also drafted together with Pota, and will allow the Immigration Department director-general to suspend or cancel the travelling documents of any Malaysian involved in a foreign terrorist organisation.
"Smata also grants powers to the Home Minister to order a non-Malaysian citizen to hand over their travel documents if they are suspected of being involved in or supporting terrorists acts," Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in a statement.
"The foreigner can be handed over to the police, who can detain them for up to 14 days for investigation purposes," he added.
Pota was tabled and passed in Parliament last March, together with several amendments to existing laws such as the Penal Code, the Special Offences (Security Measures) Act (Sosma), the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) and the Prisons Act.
Smata, as well as the amendments to the Penal Code and Sosma took effect on June 15 this year.
There were a total of three, namely Pota, Poca and Prisons Act amendments which took effect on Sept 1.
Last November, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak presented a white paper in Parliament calling for new security measures to curb the threat of the Islamic State terrorist group.