Malaysia government tables two new anti-terror bills
Malaysia on Monday proposed two new anti-terrorism bills that allow detention of a person for two years without trial amid concerns in the Muslim majority country over several of its citizens getting swayed by the dreaded Islamic State militant group.
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia on Monday proposed two new anti-terrorism bills that allow detention of a person for two years without trial amid concerns in the Muslim majority country over several of its citizens getting swayed by the dreaded Islamic State militant group.
The government tabled in parliament seven new bills, including the Prevention of Terrorism Bill and the Special Measures against Terrorism in Foreign Countries.
The two new anti-terrorism bills would allow seizure of travel documents of both citizens and foreigners, impose harsher penalties on those who are convicted while under restriction, and punish by up to 30 years in jail the act of training, travelling or building transportation devices for terrorism.
The Prevention of Terrorism Bill seeks to prevent the commission or support of terrorist acts involving listed terrorist organisations in a foreign country or any part of a foreign country.
The bill also stated that it is for the control of persons engaged in acts of terrorism and related matters.
The Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2015 was tabled for first reading following the tabling of a White Paper on tackling the Islamic State's threat by the Prime Minister Najib Razak on November 26 last year.
Among other provisions, the Bill enables a person who has been engaged in terrorist acts to be detained for up to two years in the interest of Malaysia's security after a detention order is issued. The detentions can be extended by a board to be set up under the law.
The tabling of the bills comes as the Muslim-majority country struggles to contain militancy, with 61 Malaysians travelling to the Middle East last year to join terror groups such as the IS.
The Special Measures Against Terrorism in Foreign Countries Bill, meanwhile, seeks to provide special measures to deal with anyone who engages in activities involving listed terrorist organisations in a foreign country.
The political opposition immediately denounced the proposed Prevention of Terrorism Act, saying this would give the government another tool to suppress peaceful dissent.
However, Home Minister Zahid Hamidi earlier has said the bill would "only be used to curb terrorism" and not against government critics.