KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today announced the immediate release of 125 people held under the Restricted Residence Act 1933 and the cancellation of more than 200 warrants yet to be served.
The announcement comes in the wake of the motion to repeal the act tabled for second reading in the Dewan Rakyat today by the prime minister.
“I stand in this august house today to launch the process to deliver the government’s promise. In this world, very seldom does a ruling government voluntarily relax the power it wields,” he said.
When tabling the Restricted Residence (Repeal) Bill 2011 for second reading, Najib said the repeal of the act and several other acts was part of the beginning of the country’s Political Transformation Programme (PTP) which complemented the ongoing Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
“I and my colleagues will not shy away from going forward and, in fact, are all the more committed to doing the best for national harmony. Indeed, this is just the beginning,” he said.
Najib, in his special message on the eve of Malaysia May on Sept 15, had announced the repeal of the Emergency Proclamation 1969, the Internal Security Act 1960 and the Banish Act 1959, and a review of the Restricted Residence Act 1933, the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and Section 27 of the Police Act 1967.
The prime minister said the main thrust of the PTP took into account the national aspiration to build a modern and progressive Malaysia with a functioning democracy.
He said this was to balance the needs of national security and individual freedom by taking into consideration the complex national pluralism and the threat of global terrorism in a post-9/11 world.
Najib also hit out at the opposition parties which claimed that the government had implemented their proposed plan to abolish the ISA and other laws if they come to power.
“These people are crowing that the government stole their plan. In fact, we were influenced by no one … we were pressured by no one. The government made the decision on its own will by launching the reform and improvement process.
“The test was whether we kept our promises. Others can claim these to be their ideas or views, but they are not the government given the mandate by the majority of the people to deliver on its promises,” he said.
Najib said the transformation measures initiated by the government were not born out of internal or external pressure or due to fears and concerns.
Instead, they were drawn up by the Barisan Nasional government as a responsible government which had concern for the people at heart and understood their aspirations, he added.
“In conclusion, everything was the result of cumulative national development and progress pioneered by the same government in power since independence.
“This government realises that the trust to administer our beloved country should be founded on the willingness and trust of the majority and not based on power of intimidation,” he said.
Najib reiterated that the government was not crazy for absolute power because that would be contrary to the democratic way of life which the people cherished.
“In fact, power is a trust, not a privilege. We made this decision with the realisation that the highest goal of a government of the people, by the people and for the people is the welfare and prosperity of its citizens,” he said.
Source : Bernama