Repeal the ISA, no two ways about it

Before this, I wrote about an upcoming forum on whether the ISA should be reviewed, or repealed. That was held last Tuesday. Ambiga Sreenevasan has this to say:

(IANS) The Malaysian government has come under attack once again over the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA), not from a detainee’s family but from the Malaysian Bar Council chief.

Noted jurist of Indian origin Ambiga Sreneevasan has criticised the government for extending, without citing sufficient grounds, detention of terror suspects held under the ISA. She said this had had a negative impact on the family of detainees.

There are sufficient provisions under the penal code to charge terrorist suspects, yet we have been witnessing that the two-year detentions given under ISA are being extended with no fresh reasons given. This has negatively impacted on the family of detainees,” Sreneevasan said at a discussion on ‘ISA: Abolish or Review’.

Citing a high court judgement of last October, she held out the hope for abolition or review of the ISA.

Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohamad Hishamudin Mohhamad Yunus had awarded 2.5 million ringgit ($800,000 approx) in damages to political activist Abdul Malek Hussein after ruling that his arrest and detention under the ISA were made in bad faith, The Sun newspaper reported Friday.

The judge had added that the detention was clearly for a political purpose, and was not based on genuine concern for national security, Sreneevasan said.

Full article here.

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To me, Ambiga is quite a dodgy character. Even in her statement, she says “either review, or abolish the ISA”. And that is what the whole forum was all about. There was no question about it. Either repeal, or review. There’s no way that we want it still intact. But the thing is, she has not made her stand clear. Does she want to see it being reviewed? Or repealed? Surely as Malaysian Bar Council Chief, she can do more than just repeat the title of the forum?

That said, she has made a point in citing the example where the High Court Judge ruled that there was an arrest under ISA that was done in bad faith and for none other than political purposes. Which to me is basically what the ISA is all about these days. If it were genuinely for national security, the police would do better to come up with proof of the crime so that the criminal/terrorist could be charged in court, and officially put under detention.

The ISA is just one of the many ways that the government has been blatantly abusing to get things their way. To shut people up. To create a sense of fear in the people.

I say no more. I say we end this. I say NO TO ISA.



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