PETALING JAYA: The MCA has welcomed Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s proposal for a comprehensive review of the Internal Security Act, with the its women’s wing saying the act should be amended and renamed as the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Wanita MCA chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said this way, the Anti-Terrorism Act would only be used against those involved in terrorism or subversive activities.
“Prevention laws are still relevant in view of the threat to national stability and loss of lives in terrorist attacks worldwide.
“But it should not be used to flagrantly curb civil liberties,” she said.
Chew said the wing supported the Prime Minister’s decision to release the 13 ISA detainees and to conduct a comprehensive review of the act.
She said the Government must draw up stringent conditions for imposing the preventive laws to prevent misuse.
“Those held under such laws have to be given the rights to judicial review,” she said.
MCA spokesperson Lee Wei Kiat said the ISA must be reviewed as its implementation was open to abuse.
“We must always remember that the original purpose of the enactment of the ISA was to fight organised violence and stem out terrorist activities,” he said.
He said MCA was mindful that preventive laws were needed to maintain peace, law and order as real threats posed against the country’s national security needed to be wiped out especially with regards to extremist fanatics, subversive elements, heinous crimes and terrorism.
“Rather than being abolished, the ISA should be amended in accordance with the needs and requirements of the existing political landscape today, rather than using an obsolete act formulated back in the 1960s,” he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk S.K. Devamany expressed the MIC’s gratitude to Najib for the release of the two Hindraf leaders and 11 others held under the ISA.
“The release of the Hindraf leaders is being well received by Indians throughout the nation. It is a good indicator of the Government’s sincerity in understanding the Indian community,” he said.
Source : The Star