Aug 19, 2013

    KL plans crackdown after wave of killings

    MALAYSIA will use a section of its Crime Prevention Act for the first time to hold suspects without filing charges, in a crackdown on violence following a wave of killings, according to a copy of an internal police memo seen by Bloomberg News.

    The police will use Section 105 of the Act to detain suspects for as long as 24 hours without charging them, according to the memo.

    While the memo said that the operation is likely to start tomorrow, it will probably begin sooner, according to a police spokesman yesterday, who asked that he not be named because he wasn't authorised to comment.

    The rise in violence is due partly to the abolition of the Emergency Ordinance in 2011, which led to 2,600 people being released from detention, the Malaymailonline reported last month, citing Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

    Prime Minister Najib Razak repealed the law in a bid to boost civil liberties.

    "Gangsterism" must be addressed, the memo read.

    The first phase of the operation will start in the Klang Valley, which includes Malaysia's capital of Kuala Lumpur.

    The police action comes after Datuk Seri Najib vowed to introduce legislation to tackle a surge in crime.

    More than a dozen shootings and robberies have been reported in states including Penang, Perak, Johor and Negeri Sembilan, and in Kuala Lumpur, according to news reports.