PUTRAJAYA – The formulation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) is an effort by the government to protect Malaysia from terrorism threats such as from the IS, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said more Malaysians were getting duped by the meaning of jihad to the extent they were willing sacrifice their lives and assets to join IS militants in Syria and Iraq.
He said 61 Malaysians had been identified by police to be in Syria and Iraq fighting for IS militants and 10 of them had been found killed.
He said two families even took their children along after disposing off their properties to join the militant group.
“Being so obssessed is worrying…in this regard the formulation of POTA is to ensure the security and wellbeing of the people and country,” he said at the Home Ministry’s monthly assembly here today.
Ahmad Zahid also called on all MPs and Malaysians regardless of their religion, race and political leaning to support POTA, which will be tabled in Dewan Rakyat this month, and urged MPs not to be too emotional when debating the matter.
“This is not a political agenda. It is not an act to arrest politicians having dissenting views. It is not to replace the Internal Security Act (ISA) and is for the wellbeing of the country,” he said.
He said existing laws such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (SOSMA) could only be used after an incident had taken place while POTA is a preventive act and â€˜prevention is better than cureâ€™.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid also congratulated prisoners who obtained excellent results in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) with 68 of the 178 prisoner candidates scoring at one A1 in their examination results announced on March 3.
“I am proud that two candidates obtained 8As, three each respectively with 7As and 6As and five obtained 5As while 11 scored 4As. The prison is not a place to punish but a place to educate,” he said.
He also announced that the Malaysian Prisons Department had succeeded in earning RM28.8 million last year from products made by prisoners nationwide compared to RM20.1 million in 2013. – BERNAMA