Malaysia pushes towards new anti-terror law to combat IS threat

KUALA LUMPUR - A new law will be tabled at the next Parliament session, while existing laws will be strengthened to combat the threat of terrorism in the country.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who tabled a White Paper entitled "Ke Arah Menangani Ancaman Kumpulan Islamic State (IS)" (Tackling the IS Threat), said that Malaysia was committed to working with the international community to fight extremist ideologies.

"Aside from that, this White Paper also proposes to strengthen existing laws such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, Prevention of Crime Act and the Penal code to curb the threat of terrorism and militancy," he said in a hard hitting speech at the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday.

Najib said the Government, however, realised that laws were insufficient in dealing with the spread of the IS ideology.

"I hope to gain the support of all levels of society so that the people will not be influenced by such ideologies.

"I urge all Malaysians especially youths and parents to reject this extremist ideology which can destroy the future of all.

"The peace and harmony achieved all this while is priceless and should be preserved," he said.

Najib said Malaysia will continue to be committed in cooperating with the international community in combating radicalism, extremism, terrorism and militancy.

The 19-page White Paper with a 12-page appendix, including photographs of IS militants and locations stated that the new anti terror law was required to stamp out threats of militancy after 39 Malaysians joined the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

It further stated that 19 suspects escaped court charges due to insufficient proof and efforts to address the threat have become more challenging.

"To address new threats concerning the presence of militants in conflict areas and returnees to Malaysia, a specific law is needed.

"The rise of IS influence can inspire and re-ignite militant groups in Malaysia.

"The call to jihad by IS is very influential as it is based on Islamic compulsion that has been manipulated so Malaysians are compelled to join them," the Paper said.

The document, which was presented to all members of Parliament on Tuesday, stated that the Government must act immediately to contain the influence of IS.