KUALA LUMPUR, April 23, 2015:Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan today defended the recently passed Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota), claiming the need for proactive action against terrorism.
Speaking in a hall filled with representatives from 10 Asean countries participating in the Asean Peoples’ Forum at Wisma MCA today, Low said the Act would allow terrorists to be detained before any terror act can be carried out and, hence, ensuring the security of the people and country.
Low was answering a question regarding the effect that the April 7 Act would have on the country’s human rights. “For example, say in a situation where you know someone has bought chemicals and ingredients needed for a suicide bombing. “There is nothing wrong with buying chemicals, but then you get intelligence which says that in an email, the person had said he does not like the people in this forum and wants to send suicide bombers here. “There’s nothing wrong in writing such emails; the person may be joking. You can’t charge him in court and can only monitor him.
“So do you wait for him to strike and then arrest him, or should you use preventive detention? “If you choose to wait, then I hope the police are very efficient and know when he chooses to strike.” When asked by reporters later on the public’s fear that the Act would be abused and practised selectively against those who spoke out against the government, Low said the concerns could be brought forward to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak when reporters see him.