ISA will not be abolishedPosted: April 27, 2008
According the Syed Hamid Albar, Home Minister of Malaysia, the ISA will not be abolished:
Syed Hamid: ISA will not be abolished
KOTA TINGGI: Preventive laws, such as the Internal Security Act (ISA) will not be abolished they were needed for the purpose of maintaining public order.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom too have introduced such preventive laws.
“The act (ISA), which was introduced before the country’s independence has been continued and improved.
“It is not for the purpose of carrying out injustice but to protect the public’s right to live in comfort without fearing for their lives,” he said after launching the Kampung Rela feast here Saturday.
He said the government could not wait for anything bad to happen before taking action.
The minister was commenting on a claim by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that Pakatan Rakyat would abolish preventive laws should they rule the country.
He said Anwar never did anything when he was deputy prime minister and it was easy for the opposition to promise than actually implementing them.
On the five Hindraf leaders held under ISA, Syed Hamid said people should look on what they have done in the first place.
“We cannot wait for people to incite racial and religious feelings that can lead to problems. We have also arrested more Muslim activists from the Jemaah Islamiah and Darul Ismaliah compared to the five Hindraf members,” he said.
Syed Hamid said everyone had the right to express any grievances to the ruling government but it must be done responsibly.
“I think the government has a very clean record as actions were taken purely on issues where public order or security of the country can be jeopardised,” he said.
Syed Hamid also called for border patrols to be beefed up to prevent foreigners from entering the country illegally.
Original article here.
You know, I’m actually all for protecting the people. I agree that measures must be taken to ensure public safety, and to curb racial disputes and riots. But the ISA is NOT doing that. ISA is the wrong way to go about things.
Sure, if someone’s under suspicion, you take them away. That’s how law works. But at the same time, you have to give them what they have a right to. They have a right to KNOW why they’re under custody, they have a right to make one phone call, and they have a right to defend themselves.
With the ISA, not only do they detain people who are under suspicion, they cannot find proof of what these people are allegedly accused of! You suspect them of disseminating racial hatred, but where’s the proof? Surely, if they’ve done something bad, there would be at least ONE person out there who can stand witness?
If a person is under suspicion, keep them in detention for two day, if you have to, but after that, if there’s no proof, under what EXCUSES are they being kept there? Because the ISA allows it.
There are people under ISA detention who have been there for the past 6 YEARS, and it’s all because they’re SUSPECTED of being JI members, or KMM members, or whatever other reason they can come up with. 6 YEARS! And still no proof of anything? Then why keep them there? Any spirit they had prior to this to instill racial hatred would have been broken by now! And this might not even be true to start off with!
Yes, a law has to be in place to curb racial disturbances, and protect the people, and keep the public safe. Yes, I agree only to so much. But the ISA is not the way.
If they HAVE to keep the Internal Security Act there, then moderate it so that the people they detain under this act have their basic rights in place.
Before that happens, I will continue to sign petitions like these.