Govt Has Not Finalised Decision To Bring Back Preventive Law – Najib

(Bernama) –  Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the government had not finalised a decision to bring back the preventive law to fight serious crimes in the country.

“We have not made a final decision. We want to see whether existing laws are sufficient at the moment. We are having intensive discussions, whether we require additional laws or not.

“The only problem for preventive law is that, how do you arrest someone if a crime has not been committed? If (it is) on mere suspicion, is it enough (sufficient) to arrest somebody on the basis of preventive law?

“So, that’s the debate we are having at present, and the public must be aware that at the same time, we are concerned about bringing down the crime rate and we are concerned about possible abuses of human rights in the country,” he said.

Najib was speaking to reporters after attending the Hari Raya Aidilfitri Open House organised by the Treasury in Putrajaya, Monday.

Between April and last month, 23 street shooting cases were reported nationwide, including those involving high-profile or public figures.

Asked whether existing laws were sufficient, the prime minister said the government was looking at it, adding that the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers were working very closely within the existing laws to study whether such laws were sufficient at the moment.

“I have made a public commitment that if existing laws are not sufficient, we will strengthen the existing laws but with sufficient provisions to safeguard against possible abuses,” he said.

On former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement that the current spate of street shootings was the price for freedom that each citizen paid, Najib said the government was looking for the best balance in terms of freedom of human rights and public interest based on our “desire to safeguard public order and peace”.

“The government is looking to ensure that the right of the individual is not compromised while public interest is safeguarded.

“This is the balance we have to achieve to create a more mature society and safeguard the fundamental right of the individual, but without disregarding our desire to safeguard the public interest as a whole,” he added.