FAQs: Terrorism

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FAQs: "Terrorism"

FAQs: Preamble
FAQs: Rape
FAQs: Dosmetic Violence

Erode international standards of human rights and infringe citizens' rights

Do we need a separate offence for committing "terrorist acts"?

No, there are sufficient legislation in place to take care of "terrorism" and "terrorist acts". For example, Ma'unah group stole army's weapon in Grik, and the offenders were all charged under Penal Code Section 121 Waging or attempting to wage war or abetting the waging of war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, a Ruler or Yang di-Pertua Negeri. Under Section 121, it covers at least three elements, namely, if the purpose or intention is: 

                   (a) staging an insurrection to challenge the government;
                   (b) having an insurrection by force or violence; and
                   (c) having an insurrection to accomplish an object of a public general nature.

There are definitely sufficient legal provisions to cover other offences such as possession of firearms, causing serious hurt to person and damaging property. There is no need to include a special section on terrorism and terrorists act, especially when the definition brings more confusion instead of clarity.

As citizens speaking out about social issues, are we committing "terrorist acts"?

Most likely if we refer to the definition in the Select Committee's report. The Select Committee has defined "terrorist act" to mean an act or threat of action within or beyond Malaysia where the act or threat:

a. is made with the intention of advancing a political, religious, or ideological cause;
b. is intended or may reasonably be regarded as being intended to:

  1. intimidate the public or a section of the public; or
  2. influence or compel the Government of Malaysia or the Government of any State in Malaysia, any other government, or any international organisation to do or refrain from doing any act.

The wide definition of "terrorist act" in the Penal Code may result in well meaning social action be perceived as terrorist act. For example, civil societies do hold dialogues with government agencies to bring about effective implementation of policies and legislation. However, under the above definition that act may be deem to be an attempt to "influence the Government of Malaysia" and hence be classified as a "terrorist act".

Is the power to intercept communications for terrorism offence or eaves dropping?

There is high chance that individual privacy maybe infringed. The Select Committee's amendment seems to give full powers to the Public Prosecutor to "detain, intercept or listen to any conversation by telecommunications". There is a huge reliance by the Public Prosecutor on the police to provide the evidences but what happens if sometimes they are incorrect?

There is no check and balance on the quality of evidences given. The powers to decide on the interception of communications must rest not on Public Prosecutors but on High Court judges as they have the capacity and legal knowledge to decide. In the event of an interception, evidences or results must be reported at all times to an independent body, perhaps an "interception of communications commission".

FAQs: Preamble
FAQs: Rape
FAQs: Dosmetic Violence

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