KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — Malaysians must support Datuk Seri Najib Razak in upcoming polls as a strong Barisan Nasional (BN) government would be able to revive the Internal Security Act (ISA), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was reported as saying yesterday.
The former prime minister was quoted by Chinese vernacular newspaper Kwong Wah Daily as saying that Najib had been forced to accede to Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) demands and abolished the ISA as he feared losing electoral support.
According to the Penang-based daily, Dr Mahathir blamed Najib’s predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, for transferring a weak BN government to the prime minister, which resulted in Najib having to bow to demands from the federal opposition.
Kwong Wah was the only newspaper that carried Dr Mahathir’s remarks on Najib and the ISA.
The news report also quoted Dr Mahathir as defending the relevance of the ISA, saying that if ex-Communist Party of Malaya secretary-general Chin Peng or a religious extremist were to form a political party here, such detention laws would be the only way to stop these threats.
The country’s longest-serving premier stressed that the government could only revive the ISA if BN gained more seat wins in the next general election.
Prime Minister Najib announced the repeal of the ISA along with other security laws back during his Malaysia Day address on September 16 last year. It was repealed in the March parliamentary sitting.
The ISA replacement law, Putrajaya’s Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 was tabled and passed in Parliament last month, removing the government’s option to detain individuals without trial and providing a maximum detention of 28 days for investigation purposes.