Malaysia to end indefinite detention in security shake-up

April 10, 2012 10:27

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced a new security law on Tuesday that ends indefinite police detention of suspects, fulfilling a pledge to abolish colonial-era legislation that has long been used to stifle political dissent.

The proposal, likely to be passed by the government-controlled parliament, is Najib's latest move aimed at winning over middle-class, urban voters ahead of what is expected to be a closely fought election that he could call in weeks.

"This is a historic day for Malaysia and another major step forward on the road to reform," Najib said in a statement, describing the new law as a balance between protecting national security and ensuring civil liberties.

Under the Security Offenses Bill sent to parliament on Tuesday, police can detain a person suspected of "terrorism or security" offenses for up to 28 days.

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