Home Minister affirm Anti Terrorism laws replacing ISA

In a bold move Home Minister Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin Hussein today affirm the need for ‘detention without trial’ element in the new Anti Terrorism laws which have been planned to be tabled at Dewan Rakyat in March 2012. The new Anti Terrorism laws are to replace the much dreaded democratically enacted Internal Security Act (ISA) which was designed to preserve democracy but some people deem it as ‘undemocratic’.

Published: Monday November 21, 2011 MYT 7:23:00 PM

Hisham: New law replacing ISA to include detention without trial

PUTRAJAYA: The new law to replace the Internal Security Act 1960, which will be repealed, will still provide for detention without trial, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

He said detention without trial was also being practised in some countries in the fight against terrorism, such as the Patriot Act in the United States and Anti-Terrorism Act in the United Kingdom and Australia.

“The US, UK and Australia all champion human rights, but they realised that when dealing with militancy and terrorism, they needed to have acts of that nature.

“In fact, there are some Malaysians who are being detained by the US in Guatanamo without trial for many years now. So, please don’t have double standards and we don’t want hypocrisy in this matter,” he said, here, Monday.

Hishammuddin who had earlier attended the Innovaiton Day celebration and the ministry’s monthly assembly, also said that Barisan Nasional, as the ruling government, would be responsible and abide by all new laws to be implemented in the interest of public well-being.

“He have learned from the experience of countries which have abolished such acts without thinking long and they paid the price,” he added.

On Sept 15, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his Malaysia Day special address announced that the ISA would be repealed and two new suitable laws formulated to preserve peace, harmony, stability and prosperity in the country.

Asked about new elements to be incorporated in the new acts, Hishammuddin said these would include the period of detention, notice to families of the detainees and making appeals.

He opined that they would not be difficult to be implemented as the process of replacing the ISA had begun two years ago.

On the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011 to be tabled in Parliament next week, he said it was in the final stage of drafting by the Attorney-General’s Chambers. – Bernama

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This is a very wise decision since the ‘war against terrorism’ is a very important security  agenda for Malaysia, not only for its citizens but the nation’s commitment in the multilateral and international move towards making the world a better place. Terrorism, which a cowardice act of barbarism defy every principle of democracy and human rights as a group of individuals and minority forcefully invoke the ideology and wish for power against the the will of the majority.

Often, they intentionally inflict pain to ordinary people who are harmless and unarmed in the most brutal fashion. The victims include old folks, women and children. Private properties also damaged if not destroyed by these acts of terrorism. To the terrorists, these are ‘collateral damage’.

Terrorism is a global problem and Malaysia is committed to do its part to combat this cowardice act of brutal barbarism. These barbaric criminals against humanity are not easily identified and often they live the normal life amongst everyday common people. Like amongst those arrested the recent detention of ‘Terrible Thirteen’ in Tawau for terrorism related activities in Malaysia, Indonesia and Southern Phillipines include religious teachers. Not only these teachers preach their brand of skewed intention to install Ilamic State ‘Darul Islam’, they also use their religious teachings to sow hatred towards Non Muslims and even Muslims who do not subscribe to their narrow ideology.

It is very difficult for Anti Terrorist Agencies such as the Police to apprehend and book perpetrators in this crime and present them in court to be charged under existing Penal Code. This is because their network transcend across borders and the evidence that the security agents posses may not be admissible in court. Even if it is, probably it would be very complicated to build up an iron clad case for conviction.

One of a very important issue about presenting these criminals in open court is the compromise of the security agencies’ network, which include an intrigue web of international covert operatives. Under cover agents may have to compromise their role, cover and most important covert operation in an open court. This would surely jeopardise future operations. Let us not discount the security of the families of these covert operatives.

In the past and even at the moment, the Royal Malaysian Police have used the ISA very well as a very effective anti terrorism preventive tool. Many planned acts of terrorism were managed to be foiled because of the good research and investigative work coupled with the ISA. The Police fully utilised the detention to ascertain the operation, operatives, network and even other future planned acts of terrorism from the detained criminals. A good example is Mas Selamat Kastari, an Indonesian born Sinagporean who was ranked one of the most dangerous terrorist in the region.

This is not withstanding that open court trials are very lengthy and in the quest of justice, other criminals which include their own comrades might find the opportunity to dissipate silent and unnoticed in the cover of their community and go free.

That is not all. When the investigation is over, the Police would use the remaining detention without trial period to rehabilitate these criminals. This is to prepare them for return to society. The Police use all sorts of approach and method to untangle and dislodge the ideology that these criminals subscribe and make them aware of their crime against humanity. It has been said they have an 80% in this rehabilitation program and their experiences, approaches and methods have been emulated by security agencies in other countries.

The Home Minister’s affirmation on the element of detention without trial is a great comfort for Malaysians to continue achieve further progress as these new Anti Terrorism laws would ensure that the Malaysia is free from these barbaric cowardice criminals.

Published in: on November 21, 2011 at 20:35  Comments (2)