Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Monday pledged to review the country's tough sedition law that critics say has been used to silence dissent as part of reforms to claw back votes.

Parliament was also expected to pass a new law to replace the controversial Internal Security Act (ISA) that allowed for indefinite detention without trial of terror suspects and dissidents.

The slew of reforms follows Najib's pledge last September to improve civil liberties in a country long known for authoritarian rule ahead of elections expected to be called soon.

"The government will continue to carry out these political reforms. As such, I would like to announce that the government will comprehensively review the Sedition Act," he said in an address to lawmakers.

However, Najib said the new law replacing the Sedition Act, which has been used against political opponents, would still be used against those who "bring hatred or insult" to the country's monarchy and "promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between races or classes" in multi-ethnic Malaysia.

He did not say when the new act would be tabled or give further details.- AFP