KUALA LUMPUR: Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pix) today said 306 people have been arrested for suspected involvement in illegal activities since amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) came into force in April.
The amendments include provisions that allow a person to be detained without trial for up to two years.
Ahmad Zahid said 10% of the 306 were freed while the rest will face prosecution or detention under the new provisions of the Act.
He said the order to detain an individual without trial will only be made after the Prevention of Crime Board, a five-man panel headed by a judge thoroughly examines a case and deems it fit to do so in public interest.
"The amendments are not just to eradicate crime but to prevent it as well," he said at the Police Officer's College in Cheras after a handing over of duties ceremony between new Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Noor Rashid Ibrahim and police administration department director Datuk Seri Mohamad Fuzi Harun who was acting DIGP.
On the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act which will be enacted next year, Ahmad Zahid said apart from holding discussions with law practitioners, the government was also engaging with non-governmental organisations involved in crime prevention before a detailed study is carried out.
He said the papers would be tabled in Parliament by end of February next year.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said to maintain national security there was a critical need for preventive laws in thwarting militancy in the country.
He said the police have also provided their feedback and suggestions to the Attorney-General's Chambers on essential laws that should be considered for the Anti-Terrorism Act.
"Those who go overseas to become militants and then return home may pose a potential threat to the country. This is where we need to take steps to avoid untoward incidents." he said.