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ISA review: National interests, people’s rights key

PUTRAJAYA, 14 April 2009: The Home Ministry will ensure that both national interests and people’s rights are taken into consideration in the review of any laws, including the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said he would ensure that a balance is struck between the rights of an individual and the rights of the majority, or national interests in any changes to laws under it, including the ISA.

Hishammuddin, who switched from the education to the home ministry, said both these factors should be given due consideration.

“People always talk about the right of the individual only but in any change, the right of the majority is just as important. It’s a principle that I will uphold without fear or favour,” he told reporters after attending a briefing on the ministry here.

Hishammuddin also said he would study not only the ISA but also the other 40 laws under the ministry, to ensure there was no overlapping, and pledged that whatever changes would not put national interests at risk.

On another development, he urged the leaders of PAS and other political parties not to make seditious and provocative statements which could undermine the country’s economic development and peace and tarnish its image.

“It’s a mistake to suggest that there will be riots and demonstrations similar to what is happening in Thailand because the people will reject such culture,” he said.

Hishammuddin was asked to comment on a Harakah Daily report on 12 April which said that it was not impossible that the people of Perak would resort to protests and demonstrations like what was happening in Thailand if the Perak state assembly was not dissolved to pave the way for fresh elections. — Bernama


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