Malaysian govt propose tough anti-terrorism law

2015-03-30 16:10

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Kuala Lumpur - The Malaysian government on Monday tabled a tough anti-terrorism bill to deal with what is seen as the growing domestic threat of extremism linked to groups such as the Islamic State.

The prevention of terrorism bill provides for stiffer sentences and the detention of terrorism suspects without trial for up to two years, a measure critics have condemned as infringing basic rights.

"According to Section 17(5), these two years can be renewed indefinitely every two years and Section 19 allows no judicial review or habeas corpus," opposition parliamentarian Wong Chen said at a press conference.

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi defended the bill, saying it "will only be used to curb terrorism and not a replacement for the Internal Security Act (ISA)," referring to a law abolished in 2012 that saw scores of opposition figures being detained without trial.

The new draft law includes a provision that no person shall be arrested and detained solely for his "political belief or political activity."

Zahid also introduced the special measures against violence overseas bill.

"With the seriousness of the militant group threats now, these new laws and a few amendments to existing laws such as the Prevention of Crime Act 2013 are much needed to curb terrorism and extremism within and outside the country," he was quoted saying.

Zahid said 71 Malaysians have been identified as having gone to Syria and Iraq to fight for the Islamic State.

At home, the authorities have detained about 100 Malaysians on suspicion of being involved with the militant group.

Read more on:    malaysia  |  security

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