Sedition Act among six laws under review
The government is studying six laws to consider amending or repealing them, said Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
The laws are Sedition Act 1948, Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) 1959, Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) 2015, Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012 and the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
He said the Home Ministry would discuss with the Attorney-General’s Chambers to fine-tune the proposal to either amend or repeal the affected laws and the outcome would be tabled to the cabinet for approval.
“The basic principle in studying the laws is that the government has to formulate a law on security that can provide a balance on the need to safeguard the country’s security effectively, (and) at the same time, preserve the fundamental rights as guaranteed in the Federal Constitution,” he said at the Home Ministry’s 2019 New Year Message programme in Putrajaya today.
On Sosma, Muhyiddin said the status of the law was still being discussed with the stakeholders and NGOs, including the Bar Council.
“Just give it a little bit of time. Wait a while as we are in the midst of redrafting or amending the laws,” he added.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said the ministry’s key focus this year included revamping the immigration’s operations system by implementing the end-to-end operation concept to avoid corruption and using artificial intelligence-based technology in enforcing and eradicating crime.
Others, he said, included intensifying strategy of preventing and controlling radicalism and extremism in combatting terrorism, eradicating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, as well as cross-border crime, enhancing the use of the social media in the dissemination of information on security and addressing the spread of fake news.
"The law enforcement departments and agencies should be looked as people-friendly service-oriented departments and not merely as law enforcers,” he added.
Muhyiddin said that in line with the promise in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, the Home Ministry had awarded Malaysian citizenship to 1,641 people of Indian origin, aged 60 and above, who fulfilled the citizenship requirements.
At the event, Muhyiddin also handed over the "Pingat Jasa Pahlawan Negara" medal to 13 recipients for their heroism, sacrifices and deeds to the country during the emergency era (July 12, 1948 to July 21, 1960), Communist Insurgency Era (June 17, 1968 to Dec 2, 1989) and the Emergency period in Sabah and Sarawak (1962 until Oct 17, 1990).
Leading the list of recipients was inspector-general of police Mohamad Fuzi Harun, followed by six former IGPs and four former deputy IGPs.
Muhyiddin also launched the development of the e-Pesara Polis DiRaja Malaysia (PDRM), a new initiative by the Royal Malaysian Police to safeguard the welfare of police pensioners.
He said the first phase of the web portal, scheduled to be ready in March, would benefit nearly 14,000 police pensioners who would be able to obtain the latest information, as well as updates on their personal information, as well as applications, online.