Wednesday, October 31, 2007


We already have too many laws like the Police Act 1967, the Penal Code and Society Act 1966 that control human rights and freedom and the worst of these law is the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA). It was the legislation that saw on 27 October, 1987 being used to arrest 106 Opposition politicians and Chinese academicians by the Mahathir Regime. Mahathir’s name will be remembered for generations to come and during his regime no judges were daring enough to say that ISA was a draconian law that curtailed human rights and dignity. It will go into history that political parties like SUPP and PBB and those in the BN government during the Mahathir regime will also be remembered for not daring to seek this draconian law, ISA abolished. Their leaders would also be remembered as puppets of Mahathir with blind obedience to the master.

The ISA was in actual fact a vicious weapon where the police could detain under section 73(1) of the Act a person without a reason and without trial for a period of 60 days without any court order. The minister at the end of the period could allow further detention of the detainee and those being detained normally had not the heart to challenge the legality and constitutionality of the law as they knew very well that their challenge in court would be futile.

It was a weapon that kept people blind, deaf and dump and the end result was that society became more corrupt and law enforcement officers and politicians in power became more abusive and arrogant in their acts as if the laws were created by them and for them to wield as they like. In the years of abusing the law, the system became more decayed and corruption index increased each year making Malaysia one of the most corrupt countries in this planet! Indonesia and the Philippines after the fall of Suharto and Marcos governments saw some improvement ahead of Malaysia while Malaysia kept on sliding in the corruption transparency index.

Maybe things will be better for Malaysia if BN government falls and a new government take over. A new government will surely turn the carpet around and those who are corrupt will be arrested and brought to justice and be made to pay for their sins.

The treat of arrest under ISA also saw fear among Malaysians to expose the ills of Executive and the Judiciary. This could be seen despite the controversial tape of a senior lawyer talking over a phone to a judge of fixing promotion of judges being exposed, until now no one dared to come forward to claim responsibility for the video tapping of the conversation. The billions of ringgit in the many financial scandals which included the Perwaja Steel, BMf and bailouts of crony companies will remain unsolved and became ghosts that will also haunt generations to come.

Times has changed and Malaysia now begins to see some hope after the judgment of Justice Hishamuddin Mohd Yunus on 18th October, 2007 on a suit filed by Abdul Malek Hussin who was detained for 57 days under ISA in which the said Judge said the detention violated human rights and with that the government was slapped with RM2.5 million in damages.

This judgment should send a clear signal to law enforcement officers that they should not abuse their power of arrest and detention. Anwar Ibrahim, the PKR Advisor when detained by the police landed with black eye, like his friend, Abdul Malek, also saw justice when a former Inspector General of Police was convicted and sentenced to jail for causing Anwar’s black eye. The black eye is now a catalyst to many freedom and human rights movements and now Malaysians became more conscious of their rights and the importance of freedom and human dignity. These movements grew stronger and kept swelling and soon come this 10 November, 2007, we will see 100,000 strong people marching to Dataran Merdeka to demand justice, freedom and democracy.

ISA is a shame to a civil society and we should abolish it. To preserve it, is to preserve dirt in our home and society will not be progressive. With ISA still creating fear over the heads of Malaysians, the controversy surrounding the buying of Sukhoi jets and submarines of which DPM Najib was speculated playing a major role will forever will not be exposed.

Likewise we will forever not know how Ramli Yusuf, the Director of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department of the Police Department in Bukit Aman was said to have undeclared assets of RM27 million. Ramli Yusuf was a known officer in Sarawak having served here for a while some years ago and the people in the State also like to know whether he is a victim of some politicking within the Police Force or investigation into his case was caused by powerful people in the corridors of power. This will forever not be exposed. The Anti-Corruption Act itself ha a provision to seal the lips of those who could expose hanky-panky dealings and I think most of us also want to know whether Ramli Yusuf had such wealth.

The Inspector General of Police who was once investigated for allegation of corruption before Ramli Yusuf’s case has said there is no rift between officers within the Police Force. Now nobody dare to speak and asked what had happened to corruption in the Police Force, otherwise, ISA will come and knock at our door.

So if we want to know hanky panky dealings and that human rights be better protected, Malaysians must stand to seek this draconian law, ISA to be abolished.

POSTED by Voon Lee Shan

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