The Prime Minister says the PCA is not the same as the draconian ISA.
NEW YORK: The proposed amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) 1959 are dedicated to fighting organised crime and not aimed at reviving the abolished Internal Security Act (ISA), said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
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,” he told a news conference at the end of his eight-day working visit to San Francisco and New York Sunday.
“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.
Last Wednesday, the government tabled amendments to the PCA to give the authorities the power to detain hardcore criminals for up to two years without trial.
Najib said the country needed a specific law to combat organised crime as the perpetrators had resorted to crime openly.
“This has frightened the public and if the government doesn’t act, more people will become victims and the public will become more afraid,” he said, adding that he did not want a situation where people no longer felt safe in their own country.
The prime minister said, however, the crime-fighting efforts required a commitment from all quarters and what was important was a country free from crime.
Commenting on objections against the amendments, he said: “It doesn’t mean that we have to consult all stakeholders, but they are free to give their views to us.”