Thursday, May 01, 2008

Malaysian Opposition Gears Up To Abolish Preventive Laws

Malaysia’s opposition alliance has said it would move a motion for the abolition of the Internal Security Act (ISA) under which many people have been detained. Opposition Leader Wan Azizah Wan Ismail reiterated Wednesday what her husband and former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim had recently said: if brought to power, the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat would end the ISA and other preventive laws.

Wan Azizah joined various human rights groups that have urged the government to end the laws. The government has, however, said the laws were required to maintain public order and cites such laws in operation in several countries like the US and Britain.

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) and the Human Rights Committee (HRC) of the Bar Council issued a joint memorandum to urge all MPs to lobby for the abolishment of the act, The Star newspaper said.

Together with them were the family members of ISA detainees who also appeared at a press conference Wednesday. But the newspaper did not name the family members.

Five leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) that organised a protest rally attended by over 10,000 Tamils last November are among the ISA detainees.

The government has justified their detention on the ground that the five - M. Manoharan, 46, P. Uthayakumar, 46, V. Ganabatirau, 34, R. Kengadharan, 40, and K. Vasantha Kumar, 34 - were trying to destabilise the ethnic balance in society and had suspected terror links.

The government said it has detained more of the Islamist militants under the ISA.

In the memorandum, the groups called for immediate and unconditional release of all ISA detainees and prosecute them in a public and fair trial.

Human rights activist Amer Hamzah Arshad said it was internationally recognised that the detention of people without trial was in violation of the rule of law, human rights and the principles of democratic government.

“While the government is obliged to ensure peace and security of the country, it is not permitted to do so at the expense of basic principles of human rights and natural justice,” he said.

Arshad said the memorandum also called for immediate closure of all detention camps where detainees were held without trial. (IANS)

***** It looks like the only way the ISA can be abolished is if we 'abolish' the BN. Only time will tell.

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Blogger DIASPORA said...

The BN cartel and the Putras therein have managed to survive so far and loot the wealth of the Nation by hoodwinking the rakyat through a pliant Press and a controlled TV.

Their most effective weapon so far has been the blatant and abusive use of a decrepit law known as ISA under which the BN and its cronies have taken refuge so far.

If it is in the interests of the Nation and the rakyat that the BN Government must go - then so be it. The question of ethics must be subservient to the interest of the Nation and its people.

There are lots of other Malaysians who can fill the vacancies created by the existing BN cartel to bring about a more meaningful life for one and all.

The BN has and continues to subtly and sanctimoniously use the Race Diivide policy to extend its survival.

If the ISA has to go; if the Judiciary has to be properly reformed; if the ACA has to really do its job; if the Police need the Commission to oversee them as happens in Hong Kong and Australia - let it so be.

Let us all give our blessings to BR to get going towards this end and rid this Nation of the 'evil' that still hovers over it like a dark misty blanket.

11:28 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous SM said...

The ISA has to go, the ACA has to be made independent, the Police need a serious revamp & the Judiciary needs reform (just to name a few!).
How is this going to happen with the BN still in power? Let us not lie to ourselves. Nothing is going to change until either UMNO changes (that is not going to happen) or we have a new Government (PR).

8:02 AM GMT+8  

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