Mixed reaction to Malaysia's new Security Bill

Kuala Lumpur (The Star/ANN) - The tabling of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill is seen by Barisan Nasional MPs as a good move on the part of the Prime Minister's transformation platform.

Khairy Jamaluddin (BN - Rembau) said the Bill provided a judicial review on national security offences.

"Many people doubted it, but I maintained that it would be done before the general election, and the Prime Minister has proven that he delivers on his word," he said.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Wee Ka Siong welcomed the repeal of obsolete legislation

"This Bill is much better than the Internal Security Act with the reduction of the duration of detention, and other positive aspects," he added.

However, Liew Chin Tong (DAP - Bukit Bendera) was concerned over the Bill which touched on "activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy", which provided a jail term of up to 20 years.

"This could be a way of punishing people for political offences under a new name. The Government has to explain what it means," he added.

Tian Chua (PKR - Batu), who is also a former ISA detainee, welcomed the repeal of the ISA.

"However, some parts of the Bill are still vague and subject to abuse," he added.

Dr D. Michael Jeyakumar (PSM - Sungai Siput) said the Bill was a big step towards civil liberties.

"I am glad that the two-year detention period is gone," he added.

He questioned the Bill's necessity when there were similar laws already provided for in the Penal Code.

"We have Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code which allows for remand, among others," he added.

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