The proposed amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) is to ensure Malaysians will not live in fear of crime happening in their own backyard, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He rejected claims that the PCA is the Government's move to revive the Internal Security Act (ISA), saying that the proposed amendments were dedicated to fighting organised crime.
"If the Government does not take serious action, more people will become victims and they will live in fear.
"I want to create an atmosphere where each Malaysian will feel safe in their own country, and this can be done through a serious commitment from the Government and giving priority to the security of a country," Najib told the Malaysian media at the end of a working visit to San Francisco and New York.
He said the PCA was different from the ISA, which vested huge powers in the Home Minister and police to make arrests without going through a court process.
"But this time (under the amended PCA), the decision will be made by a judge. So, if the police were to arrest anyone, they have to convince the judge that the particular individual should be detained.
"And we will make sure that no one will be victimised," he said, adding that a person would not be arrested merely for subscribing to any political ideology.
The proposed amendments to the PCA would enable the authorities to detain hardcore criminals for up to two years without trial.
This particular section of the PCA has incurred the wrath of Opposition politicians and some civil societies.
They claimed that the PCA was another form of the ISA. Asked to comment on the objections, Najib said: "It doesn't mean that we have to consult all stakeholders, but they are free to give us their views."