KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – No less than 8,000 individuals have been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) since it was introduced in 1960 and until its repeal in 2012, the Dewan Negara was told yesterday.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said many of them were communist terrorists and members of subversive movements.
“Even though Malaysia has preventive laws, its usage is at a minimum level. In reality, detention under the preventive laws is very small if compared to those charged and imprisoned,” he said when replying to a question from Senator Datuk S Vigneswaran.
S Vigneswaran wanted to know when the police would act professional in their investigation and the conviction of criminals to imprisonment from relying heavily on preventive laws such as other developing countries.
Wan Junaidi said preventive laws were established to prevent certain criminal offences from spreading or become uncontrollable such as secret societies or militant activities.
Meanwhile replying to a question from Senator Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki on the effectiveness of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) compared to ISA, Wan Junaidi said it was unfair to make comparison on the two acts based on the legal age factor.
“If viewed from the age angle, ISA is definitely more effective as it has attained a certain maturity level and has been in use for a long time.
“It must be remembered, Sosma is a procedural law compared to ISA which is a preventive law and empowers the executive for detention or restriction purposes,” he said.
Wan Junaidi clarified the effectiveness of Sosma in addressing the issue of terrorism could not be denied when 22 out of the 45 individuals detained under the act were brought to court and charged for offences, including being members of terrorism groups or giving support to their activities.