Malaysia set to abolish security law

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced plans to repeal a security law that permits the government to detain people indefinitely without trial.

The Malaysian premier said on Thursday that the Internal Security Act (ISA) is to be replaced by a new law that would target terrorists, Press TV reported.
The ISA was passed during British colonial rule, which ended in 1957.

Najib also promised to amend a media law. According to the amendment, media organizations would not be subjected to yearly license renewals; instead, they would be given a one-shot permit that will be valid until revoked.

The Malaysian opposition says Najib is seeking to regain support before next year’s general election.

Najib’s popularity rating plunged from 72 percent in June 2010 to 59 percent due to his government’s handling of a street rally calling for electoral reforms in July. 

The rally was organized by a group of activists called Bersih or the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections. More than 1,000 people were arrested, although most were quickly released.

Political analysts say the next few months will be crucial for Najib Razak, as he might face strong resistance from his own political party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO).