GMI: ISA itself is an instrument of terror

ISA itself has served as an instrument of terror of the State

The Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI)/ Abolish ISA Movement (AIM) finds the statement from the deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak that ISA has protected country from terrorism(NST 2nd December 2008) and that “the main reason why there have been no serious acts of terrorism in this country is because we have in place the ISAis baseless and unconvincing.

Now the question is how an Act like the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows detention without trial can be used as a tool to protect the nation from terrorism? Today, most of the detainees in Kamunting are those who are linked to the JI (Jemaah Islamiyaah) and DI (Darul Islam) movement. Currently there are five alleged JI (Jemaah Islamiyyah) detainees who have been held under the ISA for seven years. They are Suhaimi bin Mokhtar, Abdullah bin Daud, Mat Sah bin Mohd Satray , Shamsuddin bin Sulaiman and Abdul Murad bin Sudin. Many more are being held there for more than 2 to 6 years. Although the government claimed that they have sufficient evidence to show that these detainees are linked to terrorism activities, but until today none of them have been charged in an open court. How then the government can ascertain that these ISA detainees are terrorists without a court trial? Without the scrutiny of the court, how the public can be assured that there is no misuse of powers to detain innocent people?

Is Najib implying that blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Selangor State Exco and Member of Parliament Teresa Kok, Sin Chew Daily’s reporter Tan Hoon Cheng and many more political and civil society activists are all terrorists?

In reality, the ISA itself has served as an instrument of terror of the State and used consistently against dissidents who have defended the democratic and human rights of the Malaysian people. The ISA has been kept in use all this time mainly because it is a very convenient tool at the disposal of the ruling coalition.

Practicing arbitrary arrest and detention without trial by hanging on to an anachronistic law, which was formulated to tackle the emergency situation many decades ago, only disgraces Malaysia in the eyes of the world. The Malaysian government which is also a member of the Human Rights Council should be ashamed for using the barbarian law like ISA, which runs counter to the Federal Constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

ISA detainees must be given recourse to a fair trial in conformity with international standards of due process and access to full legal representation and family members. If no evidence is found against a detainee, he/she should be released without delay, as holding them indefinitely merely on the basis of suspicion is a blatant violation of due process. This principle should not be compromised in any circumstances. If the Malaysian government objected to the detention of alleged terrorists without trial by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, why then detain alleged terrorists at the Kamunting detention camp in the same way as the United States does?

We strongly urge the government stop the double standards, abolish the ISA and release or charge all the ISA detainees who have been detained without trial under the ISA immediately. The people will continue to struggle until the ISA is repealed completely.

Released By,
Secretariat GMI


3 Comments on “GMI: ISA itself is an instrument of terror”

  1. Gadfly says:

    According to Amnesty International’s report dated 10 Sept 2008 above, it says that ‘On 9 September 2008, Sanjeev Kumar was released from Kamunting Detention Centre where he had been detained under the Internal Security Act for more than a year. The government had accused him of being a foreign spy. He was tortured and suffered other ill-treatment whilst in detention. Having been paralyzed on his left hand side, he is now confined to a wheelchair…”

    Does Sanjeev Kumar’s case prove or disprove that ISA protects its citizens? Unlike RPK, he is nobody. He suffers in silence. I do not know with his physical disability,how he is going to earn his living or support his family or parents, if he has them.

    If the price of ‘internal security’ is paid with citizens coming out of prison paralyzed, could a nation-state celebrate its culture with dignity?
    Gadfly, I have posted several postings about him here on this blog, including those about a police report that his wife lodged following the torture he was subjected to during detention. Type Sanjeev Kumar’s name in the search bar on the right, the other postings should come up.

  2. huichek says:

    This is outrageous…I have not known of anyone by the name of Sanjeev Kumar if I have not came across this blog…The power to hold someone in captive without trial is analogous to the ‘Kempetai’ (a special police force established in Malaya during Japanese Occupation – those who are suspected as a spy is beheaded without trial). So ISA is basically a tool for the ruling party to ensure that they will not face any threat from opposition.The ISA has not been used as often in the past,if I am not mistaken it has only been used by Mahathir once during the Operasi Lalang(someone correct me if I am wrong).This issue is not widely discussed by the time, probably because the internet is not as widespread as it is now..The people is not as outspoken..The Opposition party is weak..I feel fortunate to have been born in this era, as IMO I will get to see some reformation in Malaysia, after the Barisan monopoly for more than 50 years!
    Ops Lalang was the one time that there was a massive detention of people under the ISA, official numbers is somewhere around 106. Before that, there were also lecturers and student leaders taken in under the ISA for the Baling demonstrations. Anwar and Syed Husin Ali were amongst those taken in at that time, around 1974. There have been many others.

  3. Gadfly says:

    Michelle, thanks for the search pointer.

    With the benefit of hindsight of viewing history separated by time, ISA or similar acts should have prevented the terrorism of May 13. But, it did not.

    Political language can be subtly or blatantly deceptive, as what George Orwell said that political lies can be told as if it is the truth.

    The basic fault of ISA is that it allows a mentality sculpted from war time to operate in non-war time. In war, practically everything against the rule of law and morality is apparently allowed. Perhaps if we can understand the psychology of war, we can better understand the psychological addiction to the power of ISA.

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