KL seeks special lab to fight lawlessness

PUTRAJAYA - The Malaysian Cabinet has instructed the Performance Management Delivery Unit (Pemandu) to set up a special laboratory after Hari Raya to explore ways to tackle the issue of serious crime in the country, while studying a new set of stringent laws to ensure public safety.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukry said that the Cabinet was looking into the issue from legal perspectives, especially on the formulation of legislation to ensure the personal safety of Malaysians. However, she stressed that the government would not revert to its old ways, such as with the Internal Security Act (ISA) and Emergency Ordinance, or detention without trial. Instead, it would explore putting in place a strict mechanism to combat serious crime.

She said the special lab would be led by Pemandu, with members hailing from several government ministries. The lab will be used to explore new legislation and issues pertaining to the police force, its equipment and budget. As for the budget allocation for enhancing police equipment and capability, Ms Shukry said that once the Cabinet approves requests submitted by the police, the same would be handed over to Pemandu for further deliberation.

She said that after a recent series of crimes involving firearms, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and three Cabinet ministers met to discuss ways to tackle the issue of serious crime.

She said the government would consult the views of the police and study how countries, such as Singapore and the United States, tackle the issue.

She said the ISA had never been abolished in Singapore and the police would propose using the ways and various laws in other countries for reference purposes. However, she said Malaysia would not adopt everything wholesale as it needed to consider whether these were in conformity with its existing laws.