ONE ISA detainee releasedPosted: June 23, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — Sri Lankan businessman B.S.A. Tahir, who helped Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan sell illicit nuclear technology to Iran, has been released this past week from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA), sources told The Malaysian Insider.
Tahir, whose full name is Buhary Seyed Abu Tahir, was detained under the ISA in Kamunting, June 2004 for two years before another extension in 2006. He is a Malaysian permanent resident and is married to a Malaysian.
Police have put Tahir under restricted residence as a condition for his release.
Home Minister Datuk Syed Hamid Albar told Parliament on May 7 that Tahir was detained under the ISA after investigations showed his actions posed a threat to national security and the country’s economy. “He had also made Malaysia as a place to produce centrifuge component units,” he said when replying to a question from Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.
Full article here.
One glaring point that I find wrong with this is that the whole article did not even mention WHY he was released from ISA.
Now, I’ve always stood by my position of saying NO TO ISA. And I don’t intend to change that today. But surely there must have been a reason for the Home Minister to decide suddenly that this man doesn’t pose a threat to national security anymore, assuming he did when he was first detained.
This is exactly what is wrong with the ISA. It’s absolutely up to the Home Minister’s whims and fancies. Today, he can detain someone under the ISA, and the next day, the same person can be released. No concrete reason and proof needed for detention, and no need for any innocence to be released.
How did the Home Minister come to decide that this man no longer poses a threat to national security? The man has never been charged in court. No proof was ever made public or known. Is it simply because the current Home Minister does not share the same thinking with the past Home Minister? Is it simply because the previous Home Minister’s definition of “threat to national security” is substantially different from Syed Hamid Albar’s definition?
The Home Minister can go on and on about why B.S.A Tahir was detained under the ISA. But show us the concrete proof of him being a threat to national security. Charge him in court. And now that the Home Minister has decided to release him, show us that this man is no longer going to pose a threat to national security. But I guess nothing needs to be proven now, because nothing was proven before.
If any man or woman can be detained under the ISA simply because the Home Minister thinks he/she is a threat to national security, this is leaving too much power in the hands of one man. And if anything at all, perhaps the one person who poses the most threat to national security would be the Home Minister.
Don’t think we would be “happy” that one ISA detainee has been released. There shouldn’t BE any ISA detainees to release.
I say NO TO ISA. No to leaving the freedom of men and women in the hands of an individual.