Thursday, September 15, 2011
Malaysians received a significant Malaysia Day present in the form of greater civil liberties and democratic reforms under sweeping changes announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Saying that the country is evolving and the people wanted more freedom, Najib outlined the historic announcement in his Malaysia Day eve address that was telecast live on TV on the night of 15th September 2011, a day before Malaysians celebrate Malaysia Day which falls on 16th September.
The changes, he stressed, were to accommodate and realise a mature, modern and functioning democracy; to preserve public order, enhance civil liberty and maintain racial harmony.
All these changes will need to be tabled in Parliament.
Six of the best
>The Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 will be repealed.
The Internal Security Act (ISA)
1. Was first implemented in Malaya by the British in 1948 to combat the armed insurgency of the Malayan Communist Party during the Malayan Emergency.
2. Allows for detention without trial or criminal charges under limited, legally defined circumstances.
3. Since its inception until 2005, a total of 10,662 people have been arrested under the ISA.
4. One of the biggest spate of arrests happened during Operasi Lalang in 1987 when 106 politicians, social activists and NGO leaders were detained.
5. A person may be held by the police for up to 60 days without trial for acts which allegedly threaten the security of the country. After the 60 days, the Home Ministry may release a detainee on restrictive orders, or order further detention without trial for a term of two years.
- In its place, two new laws will be enacted to safeguard peace and order the detention period will be reduced and can only be extended by the courts, except in cases involving terrorism.
>Three remaining emergency proclamations to be lifted are:
- Emergency 1969, Emergency 1966 (Sarawak) and Emergency 1977 (Kelantan).
>Banishment Act 1959 will also be repealed.
>The annual licence renewal requirement for newspapers and publications will be replaced with a one-off permit by reviewing the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.
>Reviewing the Restricted Residence Act 1933.
>Allowing greater freedom to assemble by reviewing Section 27 of the Police Act 1967 by taking into consideration Article 10 of the Federal Constitution which guarantees every citizen with the right to freedom of speech and assembly
All the best Najib, Long Live Malaysia..