Time to get rid of draconian ISA

I read the StarOnline everyday, and I mostly find myself enjoying only the columns. Of the many that they have, I enjoy pieces by A. Asohan, Karim Raslan, Azmi Sharom and Veera Pandiyan.

Today, this piece is by Azmi Sharom, his column ‘Brave New World’. Som excerpts:

ON June 21, 1960, in the Dewan Rakyat, then Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak said: “The Government has no desire whatsoever to hinder healthy democratic opposition in any way. This is a democratic country and the Government intends to maintain it as such. It is the enemies of democracy who will be detained.”

He said this during the debate on the Internal Security Bill and it is reported in the Hansard.

The Bill of course went on to become our infamous Internal Security Act (ISA).


The late former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail Hussein, when confronted with the draconian nature of the Act, admitted that it was so.

However, he also pointed out that the normal workings of a democracy, such as a free press, would keep the Government in check and be a disincentive for them to abuse their powers.


As stated by the father of the current Deputy Prime Minister, it was not meant to stifle democracy. And furthermore, it is the very mechanisms of democracy, such as a free press, that will keep the use of the ISA in check.

In this light, we can see that the powers provided by the ISA have been severely abused over the decades.


In the case of Tan [Hoon Cheng], the justification for her 16-hour detention was so ludicrous and so obtuse, that it beggared belief.

The ISA was not meant to be used as a personal protection device. And pray tell how a 16-hour detention after which the individual was released back into the public sphere can be considered “protection”?


Why on earth is [RPK] being detained? Is he planning some sort of armed rebellion? There is no evidence at all to indicate even the slightest hint of that.

And Kok is being detained because some political opponents have decided to accuse her of offending Islam.

If these accusations are false, and there are indications that they are, then there is a term for this kind of behaviour – fitnah.


I am disgusted by the latest use of the ISA. It is undoubtedly going against the spirit and the intention of the ISA.

The arrest of Raja Petra, Kok and Tan also shows that the law is so open to abuse that we have no other choice but to get rid of it. There can be no room for amendments.

The ISA must go.

Entire article HERE.

For a brave new world, we need brave people like this.

6 Comments on “Time to get rid of draconian ISA”

  1. LightsInTheDistance says:

    Hi Michelle. If you have not seen the press conference of Anwar calling for the emergency Parliament session on 23rd Sept.

    I’m sure you know that anilnetto.com has a transript of the major point of the proceedings.

    http://www.justin.tv/anwaribrahim/233474/Sidang_Media_Dato_Seri_Anwar_Ibrahim_18 and http://www.justin.tv/anwaribrahim/233477/Sidang_Media_Dato_Seri_Anwar_Ibrahim_18

    Way to go, Haris.

    So now, we wait until next Tuesday. Until then, the calm before the storm?

    You have a good day ahead.
    Thanks for the links. Apparently, the PM has rejected the ‘no-confidence’ motion call for Emergency Parliament sitting. Will see how things go.

  2. LightsInTheDistance says:

    Here’s another very convincing argument, for me at least, of the veracity of Anwar’s claim that he “has the numbers”.


    Great analysis by John.

    Good nite for now.
    Yes, John’s writings are very good.

  3. Tony says:

    ISA is absurd. It has been abused ridiculously. It must go, immediately!!!

  4. wvrne says:

    Hi Michelle,

    You are doing a great job.

    You may want to let others know about the following petition.

    Petition to Free Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Teresa Kok and Others Held Under the Internal Security Act

    Thanks for the link. Will do what I can.

  5. jeff says:

    Umno claimed they have insulted Islam, obviously it is acceptable to majority of Malaysians now since malay muslims believed so. So how to get rid of ISA? when majority are behind it.

  6. cendana287 says:

    I’m glad you had mentioned A. ASOHAN, Michelle!

    This is one guy (about my age too) whom I had worked/collaborated with on a number of occasions when he was the editor of In.Tech, the technology pullout of Star.

    If you have to work under someone, pray that he/she will be something like A. Asohan. Now this is one really swell guy – a genuine, witty and helpful guy with no airs or whatever of the kind

    If I remember correctly, he was seconded to be editor of Asia News Network(?) for two years from early 2005.

    He’s now back with Star as the editor of the Internet-related section (darn, forgot what that department is called).

    Brigitte Rozario, another swell gal, is the assistant editor (she has a blog at http://brigitterozario.wordpress.com) They make an excellent team – the kind that is so full and energy. I sure wish I could do some sort of work with this kind of people…
    I really enjoy his writings. Sometimes I wish his column was a weekly column instead of a fortnightly one like now. Ah well..

    So you’ve worked with him before? Must have been a great experience!

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