Kuala Lumpur, Jan 10 – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today suggested that the government bring back the repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) to control the actions of the extremist minority which he said has undermined the country’s stability.
He said the group was immature and willing to make statements that touched on the sensitivities of other races as well as disrupted harmony in the country.
“For extremists like this group, we need the ISA,” he told reporters after appearing as a special guest on the RTM2 ‘Hello On Two’ programme, which was aired live, at Wisma TV, Angkasapuri, here.
Dr Mahathir responded thus when asked to comment on the racial tension that had been stirred up following the seizure of 551 copies of the Bible in the Malay and Iban languages by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department last Thursday allegedly for contravening the state’s Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988.
He said that if the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 was not enforced, it was better for the country to not have such a law.
As such, he advised the people to not issue statements that touched on the sensitivities of other religions or hurt the feelings of others.
“If the people continue to be at logger-heads, they will be like the people in other countries, and end up killing one another. This is unfair to those who are not involved in this controversy,” he said.
During the programme, the 88-year-old Dr Mahathir shared with viewers information on his daily routine and business philosophy and how he has managed to keep himself healthy and energetic.
Dr Mahathir was invited to appear as a special guest on the programme to commemorate the 11th year of his stepping down as the country’s prime minister.
He was appointed Malaysia’s fourth prime minister in 1981 and held the post for 22 years until 2003.
During the one-hour programme, artiste Abdul Rahim Muda, popularly known as Imuda, drew a portrait of Dr Mahathir.