Malaysiakini News

Committee reviewing 'draconian' laws to submit findings in Oct

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The special committee set up by the Home Ministry to review draconian laws has been given till next month to present its findings to the ministry.

In a parliamentary reply to Klang MP Charles Santiago, the ministry said the committee was presently studying six laws - the Sedition Act 1947, Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (Pota), the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca), the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA) and the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

“The ministry is studying security laws under its purview [...] and seeing if the usage of these acts is in line with human rights norms.

“[...] The ministry has not set a specific time frame for the committee to complete its detailed study on these laws, as studies need to be more in depth and include many aspects. The committee has (however) been given until October this year to presents its findings to the ministry,” it said.

Established in June, the committee comprises representatives from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, police, Bar Council, Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), Electoral Reform Committee and the chief registrar of the Federal Court’s office as well as legal practitioners and academics.

Santiago had asked when these laws, as well as the University and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA) and National Security Council Act 2016 (NSC), would be repealed.

Suhakam previously asked for a moratorium on all laws presently being reviewed by the government after several activists were questioned under the Sedition Act 1948 in July.

Promise number 27 of the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto stated that it will abolish the Sedition Act 1947, Poca, PPPA, NSC, UUCA as well as the mandatory death sentence.

It also promised to repeal provisions in the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, Pota, Sosma and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

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