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1 MALAYSIA CONCEPT TO REVIEW I.S.A.

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: As the government prepares to review the Internal Security Act (ISA), it is facing an increasing clamour for wide-ranging changes, including abolition of the law.
The pressure is coming from within the Barisan Nasional as well as civil liberties groups, as the government seeks to fulfil its pledge of revamping one of its most controversial and hated laws.
The promised review will get under way this week when the Law Reform Committee holds its first meeting tomorrow, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong (photo) said.
He was quoted in The Star yesterday as saying the committee will look into law reforms, including the ISA, which allows for preventive detention of those deemed to be a threat to national security.
“The ISA is a law that is close to the hearts of many and we will work together with the Home Ministry to amend the relevant parts,” he said.
Expectations run high. This is, in part, due to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s actions recently to introduce wide-ranging reforms in different areas.
His administration had abolished the 30 per cent bumiputera quota for 27 sub-sectors in the service sector, liberalised some areas of the financial sector and made it a policy to stop forced conversion of children to Islam.
When he became Prime Minister a month ago, he also released 13 ISA detainees, including two from the Hindu Rights Action Force. The group had led thousands of Indians onto the streets two years ago to demand assistance for the community.
Ragunath Kesavan, president of the Malaysian Bar which groups the country’s 13,000 lawyers, said it was positive that the government has realised the public sentiment towards the ISA.
“There is gradual acceptance that the powers under the ISA are too wide, and some kind of tacit admission that it has been abused,” he told The Straits Times.
Courtesy: The Malaysian Insider
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