Saturday, August 1, 2009

malaysiakini and the "I SUPPRESS ALL" Law

Today a huge anti-ISA demo is being planned for KL and of course the police have taken the usual precautions of blocking all the roads that lead to KL, in a futile attempt to frustrate the demonstrators.
According to this malaysiakini article, Najib: ISA rallies pointless, the PM's take is that such rallies serve no purpose as it seems "the government is already in the process of reviewing the security law".
Too bad they did not include the ISA in their much vaunted KRAs as those who were innocent victims of this draconian law have lost patience with the leaders in power.
After all it is not a new government that is reviewing the ISA but one that has been in power since independence more than 50 years ago.
However in order not to just criticise without offering some suggestions this is what I wrote in Lim Kit Siang's blog.

The ISA in the hands of callous leaders has become a “I SUPPRESS ALL” piece of legislation and the government has taken too long to make amends – even the last PM recently voiced his support to amend the ISA quickly.

To me the ISA may be necessary in the age of global terrorism but the following clauses could be added:

1.Any abuse of this authority under the law by any minister or police officer as determined by the court will be subject to the prescribed penalties.
2.No detainee will be subjected to torture or unlawful means to extract information.
3.Maximun period for detention will be 30 days, after which only a court can extend the period for another 30 days with adequate grounds.
4.Detaineee must be allowed to seek legal counsel within 3 days of being held.
5.A family member or relative will be allowed to visit detainee within 24 hours of detention for perhaps 2 hours each day.

Of course such details will not make the ISA perfect but I am sure with more checks and balances, it could improve the overall piece of legislature. At the moment it has become an unjust law in the hands of unjust men.

If you have views on the ISA or any other bad laws, why don't you write a letter to your MP and ask him/her to take some action?

photo: thanks to the Star

1 comment:

Trashed said...

Instead of the ISA, Malaysia could enact a Prevention of Terrorissm Act, which would address your concerns.