Deep down, I believe that Bloggers are change agents. We can make things happen. We can make a difference for the betterment of this fair land. We are the Blue Ocean. I intend thus to use the potency of blogging to push for the total abolition of this most hated vehicle of evil that is the ISA. Enough has been written about it being the most effective weapon in the government's arsenal. Enough has been said about the Judiciary impotence against this dastardy piece of legislation. Not a single member of the Bench has that scrotal gumption to stand up to the Executive and said "Enough is Enough, this is against all decency.!"
The above logo "Bloggers Against ISA", on request was designed by Bodohland. Join US. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your blogname (URL) and put up this logo on your sidebar. It is a small effort but we have to take the first step.
This article by GMI might prompt you to take that first step. Take it for a New Malaysia.
21 years after Operasi Lalang, ISA still a political tool for the Government
We, the People, want it thrown away once and for all!
October 27, 1987 marks 21 years since the infamous Operasi Lalang. The operation, which was carried out on 27 October 1987 by the Malaysian government to crack down on opposition leaders and social activists, saw the arrests of 106 persons under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the revoking of the publishing licenses of two dailies, The Star and the Sin Chew Jit Poh and two weeklies, The Sunday Star and Watan.
Today, the ISA is still being used extensively and threatened to be invoked to curb the activities and fundamental freedoms of political leaders, social activists, journalists, and more recently, bloggers. The arrests of Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Teresa Kok, Tan Hoon Cheng and most recently, Cheng Lee Whee under the ISA and a number of other incidents indicates that Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, who pledged to use his remaining five months to reform the judiciary, the police and the ACA, will instead end up putting more people behind bars and further curbing fundamental civil liberties.
Since Abdullah Badawi came to power in 2003, the ISA continued to be used in the same way his predecessors did, in the name of “national security”, often invoked upon people deemed to be critical of the government. The list of people detained under the ISA during the period of Abdullah Badawi’s premiership range from persons spreading rumours through SMS to political dissidents and alleged “terrorists.” In recent years, the government has created a climate of fear through the use of the ISA by threatening to invoke it upon bloggers who allegedly write inflammatory statements and upon those who participate in street demonstrations. This was stepped up in the run-up to the 2008 Election, and continues until now to prop up the ruling party’s weakened hold on power.
The Abolish ISA Movement (Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA, GMI)’s monitoring reveals that there are currently 66 detainees in the Kamunting Detention Camp. 10 individuals have been arrested under the ISA from January until October. Three out of ten have been released after few hours or few days of detention (Teresa Kok, Tan Hoon Cheng and Cheng Lee Wee).
Most of the detainees are alleged members of “religious extremist groups” including the Jemaah Islamiah (JI), while another significant number comprises those allegedly involved in counterfeiting currency or falsifying documents, Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) activists and also blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin. 6 detainees have been detained for more than 7 years under the ISA. To date, none of the detainees have been charged with any offence in an open court. More than half of them are into their second detention order and out of that number, 24 are serving their sixth or even seventh year in detention.
We have a vast array of laws which provide an adequate legal framework to deal with alleged threats against national security without contravening universally accepted principles of justice and human rights. Why, therefore, is the ISA still used by the Malaysian government?
GMI, in existence for more than seven years, has succeeded, through its many programmes, in raising public awareness about the injustice and cruelty of the ISA. It has also been able to put continuous pressure on the government by lobbying at home and abroad. As part of an intensive programme in conjunction with the seventh year of detention of a number of current detainees, GMI has produced several new books and pamphlets which have been distributed throughout the country.
In commemorating the 21 years since the Operasi Lalang, GMI once more urges the Government of Malaysia:
· To immediately and unconditionally release all persons presently detained without trial, and, where appropriate, to prosecute them in a public and fair trial.
· To immediately repeal all laws which allow for detention without trial, such as the ISA, the Emergency Ordinance (EO) and the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act.
· To immediately close all detention camps where detainees are held without trial.
· To apologize to all detainees held without trial (past and present), and provide compensation for their suffering and anguish and the injustices perpetrated upon them.
· To investigate all complaints and cases of victimization, torture, cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment, tyranny and abuse of power in relation to past and present detentions, and to prosecute the perpetrators including, but not limited to, establishing a Royal Commission of Inquiry for the said purpose.
· To immediately debate SUHAKAM’s reports in Parliament and implement its recommendations.