07 April 2015
Malaysia has introduced the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) to deal with the growing threat of the transnational Islamic State and other forms of terrorism. The move is rooted in the Internal Security Act (ISA) and its predecessors that were enacted to counter the communist insurgency in Malaya, then Malaysia from 1948 to 1989.
Since the end of the communist insurgency, there have been calls for the repeal of these draconian laws. Two grounds have been put forward. First, the communism threat is over and second, it has been abused by the authorities to detain political opponents.
While Malaysia decided to repeal the ISA, Singapore defended the need for these laws to counter the continued threat posed by terrorism.
… Bilveer Singh is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore and Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for National Security, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. This commentary first appeared in RSIS Commentary.
CENS / Online / Print
Last updated on 23/11/2015