THE two new acts to replace the Internal Security Act (ISA) will strive for a balance between individual human rights, civil liberties and the assurance of public peace, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.
The prime minister, who tabled a motion to repeal the Banishment and Restricted Residence Acts for the first reading in Parliament, said the government’s machinery and civil servants fully backed the move to abolish the ISA and the Banishment and Restricted Residence Acts.
“Such a move will place Malaysia among the countries respected by all for practising democracy,” he said during a question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat.
He was replying to Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi (BN-Kapit), who questioned Najib on the repealing of the ISA and the two laws. He also asked if the government machinery and civil servants backed the government’s decision on abolishing the ISA.
Najib said the opposition should stop claiming to be champions in repealing the ISA when the matter was brought up by Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR-Lembah Pantai), who said the opposition had mooted the idea to repeal the ISA,
He said he had promised Malaysians of his intentions to review the act two years ago.
“It is not because of the opposition but because BN wanted it. We will have consultations with the public on the amendment of the two acts.”
Minister in prime minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said drafts of the new law replacing the ISA were now with the attorney-general.
“The A-G needs to draw up a draft of the new act,” he said, adding that they will need to be cautious when repealing the ISA.
“We cannot be expected to do it today. What about the terrorists if the law is repealed today,” he said at the Parliament lobby.
Earlier, during the question-and-answer session, Najib was also asked by Linggi to state the latest measures and strategies taken by the government to unite the people in the country, and the various issues related to religion, race and on the significant economic gap highlighted by certain parties.
Najib said the government was fully committed to maintaining peace and harmony in the country so that Malaysians would continue to live in peace and harmony while enjoying a better quality of life.
He said it was done through the 1Malaysia concept which aimed to bring the public closer.
He added that various committees and non-governmental organisations and associations also looked at religious and conversion issues to encourage mediation among various parties.