PETALING JAYA - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad believes the country needs preventive laws as the people are still "not that developed or educated".
The former prime minister said Malaysia still needs harsh laws, adding that the proposed amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) were necessary.
"The moment we removed the law see what happened?" he told reporters after presenting the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation scholarships to students at Sunway University yesterday.
"I think the country still needs that kind of harsh law," he added.
Dr Mahathir had previously cautioned the Government against totally abolishing the Internal Security Act and repealing the three Emergency Ordinances last year.
The repeal of the three Emergency Ordinances was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Malaysia Day 2011.
The amendment to the PCA was tabled in Parliament early this week, following a spike in shooting and violent crimes in the last several months.
Commenting on the recent release of the QS World University rankings which showed local public universities dropping in ranking, Dr Mahathir said the quality of education offered by the local institute of higher learning needed to be improved.
He said the problem could stem from the fact that the development of such institutions was done in a hasty manner.
"I feel the development of these institutions was too fast," he said, adding that although the teaching staff appointed by these institutions could be well qualified, they might be lacking in other areas.
Commenting on the RM20mil (S$7.7 million) consultancy fees for the National Education Blueprint, Dr Mahathir said in jest: "I can also be a local expert, but no one wants to give me the consultancy job."