Terror suspects can be detained up to 4 years under new law: Malaysian Home Minister

Terror suspects can be detained up to 4 years under new law: Malaysian Home Minister
Above: Malaysia's Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

KOTA BARU - The Prevention of Terrorism Activities (Pota) Bill will give authorities power to detain terror suspects for two years, with the possibility of another two-year extension depending on a case-by-case basis.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi he would push for the new law to curb the rise of terrorism activities locally by tabling it in the coming Parliament sitting this month.

"We want to curb such activities by local or foreign suspects in a bid to nip the problem in the bud and this law is needed to contain the activities for national security and interests," he said.

Dr Ahmad Zahid stressed that Pota was not a revival of the Internal Security Act or the Emergency Ordinance.

"The difference here is that suspects can seek redress in the Courts to ensure that their rights are preserved in the name of humanitarian grounds," he said.

"If everything goes well we will be able to enforce the law by year's end," he said, adding that Opposition MP's must support such law when tabled in Parliament,

He also assured that the law would not be abused for political reasons.

"I will personally table the law, an extension to the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca), but it is not punitive enough to put fear in would-be foreign or local terrorists," he told reporters after attending an appreciation event for Civil Defence personnel involved in flood relief efforts here on Thursday.

Among present at the function was Civil Defence director general Datuk Zaitun Ab Samad.

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