Press Statement

Draconian laws should be repealed, not strengthened

29 September 2021


We refer to the 12th Malaysian Plan (12MP) which stated that the government intends to review and amend notoriously draconian laws to ‘strengthen the governance and security in the country’.


These laws which include the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA), Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA), the Sedition Act 1948 and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA).


These laws have consistently proven to be oppressive and a mockery of our justice system; it allows for detention without trials, disregard of natural justice and arbitrary and excessive limitation of fundamental liberties guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.


LFL is therefore appalled at the government’s plans to fortify these laws under the guise of improving public safety and security. Laws that are bad in substance cannot be improved, but must be unequivocally repealed. These laws are itself prejudicial to public safety as it allows unjust arrests and prosecutions of the people.


If the aim of the 12MP is truly to build a more tolerant society and to achieve higher trust in our institutions, then the government must do away with laws that transgress protection of fundamental liberties. The effort must be directed instead to improving accountability of enforcement authorities and upholding the rights guaranteed under the Constitution. All enforcement authorities must act in line with the spirit as well as letter of the Constitution.



Issued by:

Zaid Malek


Lawyers for Liberty