Dr M: Use ISA on corrupt UMNO membersPosted: November 12, 2008
From The Malaysian Insider:
PUTRAJAYA, Nov 12 – Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today suggested the Internal Security Act (ISA) should be used against corrupt Umno members.
He also backed Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the best candidate in the race for the Umno deputy presidency while suggesting that the other two challengers are involved in money politics.
“That’s a good way to use ISA, not for some writer who writes nonsense,” he said of corrupt Umno members and also in an apparent reference to Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin, who was released recently from ISA detention.
I do not know if Dr M said this in jest, or if he was serious about it. Given, he does not have the power to use the ISA on anyone. But it is a rather sick joke, if it is one.
Much as I dislike UMNO, and much more detest its corrupted members, to even suggest that the ISA be used on such people is just wrong. There are other laws in the country that take care of corruption. Or at least, are SUPPOSED to. Like the ACA.
The ISA was first enacted to curb communist activities. Back then, communist activities were killing members of civil society, literally. Much as I do not agree to detention without trial, this is history. There was a reason, rightly or otherwise, for the lawmakers of that time to enact the ISA. And dealing with corruption was NOT one of them.
The ISA has since been bandied about like as if it’s a toy. Don’t like what Ahmad Ismail said about Chinese being pendatang? Out comes the ISA. Don’t like Khairy’s way of doing things? ISA him! And there were shouts of using the ISA on fellow parliamentarians in the August House, though I’m not sure who, when, and under what circumstances.
The ISA does not solve anything. If at all, it only creates more problems. You go under detention because the Home Minister thinks you’re a threat, and you come out again after the Home Minister thinks you’re not anymore.
Lately, the ISA has been used to ‘provide protection’, and to carry out further investigations, releasing the ‘detainees’ after no more than one day. Court had also only just ruled that the Home Minister overstepped his boundaries in signing a 2-year detention order.
Where in all this nonsense do we see ‘national security threats’? Where in all this do we see ‘in the best interest of the nation’?
What I CAN see, is either (1) blatant abuse of power, or (2) total incompetency, both on the part of the Home Minister.
And to think that we place our ‘national security’ in the hands of this one man who either (1) blatantly abuses the power he has, or (2) is totally incompetent for his job requirements.
The ISA is still a law in Malaysia today. A law that puts into the hands of whoever happens to be chosen by the Prime Minister to be the Home Minister, the power to make or break a person. To detain or to free a person.To give or take a person’s freedom, at his whims and fancies.
The ISA puts into the hands of this man, powers that no one person should ever have.
I have deviated greatly from what I intended to write. But suffice to say that much as I detest corrupt UMNO members (or members of any political party), I detest the draconian law even more.
Dr M, in jest or otherwise, should not have said that.