15 Sep '11, 12pm

Malaysian PM reportedly to relax curbs on civil liberties, as speculation over snap elections mounts:

Malaysian PM reportedly to relax curbs on civil liberties, as speculation over snap elections mounts:

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will unveil plans on Thursday to ease curbs on civil liberties, an official source said, bowing to a key opposition demand as speculation over snap polls mounts. Mr Najib will announce long-awaited plans to amend the controversial Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows detention without trial, and relax press and assembly restrictions, a government official familiar with the plans told AFP. Mr Najib, whose government was widely criticised for forcefully quashing a July rally by the opposition and civil society groups for electoral reform, will detail the initiatives in an 8:45 pm (1245 GMT) speech. The ISA has long been a hot-button issue in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Critics say it is abused by the long-ruling government of Najib's party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), to silence dissent. "The prime mi...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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