The opposition's wish to abolish the Prevention of Terrorism Act was highly suspicious, stated Minister of Home Affairs Ahmed Azleen as he hit back at the former attorney general, Husnu al-Suood, on Monday night.
Suood had proclaimed in a tweet Monday that the Act was currently being used not to prevent real acts of terrorism, but as a political weapon. He vowed that in an opposition administration, the Prevention of Terrorism Act would be nullified within the first 90 days.
Speaking to state media late on Monday, Minister Azleen countered Suood's claim, saying, "To terminate legal actions that were long established to prevent dangerous acts of terrorism - aren't these talks of throwing the country into turmoil and chaos?"
Azleen questioned whether the opposition's talks were intended to "encourage terrorists", demanding what legal action could be taken against terrorism without the Act.
The minister stated that Suood did not comprehend the dangers of abolishing the Prevention of Terrorism Act. He went on to question whether the lawyer could receive enough support from the parliament to annul the legislation.
In his talk, Azleen stressed that under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, individuals convicted of terrorism are rehabilitated and counselled humanely before they are reintegrated into society.
Suood is one of several lawyers that have voiced concerns over the anti-terrorism legislation, under which a number of opposition politicians have already been convicted of terrorism charges.