Excellent proposal to get support from people in power to abolish ISA

Excellent proposal to get support from people in power to abolish ISA   



If the people in power realized that they could also be injured if they continue to play with the double edged sword ISA, they would definitely need to rethink their relentless support for and continued keeping this unjust law.  (If they are still able to think indiviuably away from the herd mentality they are always ordered to MAINTAINED and follow their respective whips.)

If just look back, we could see a few ministers and leaders aligned to DSAI had suffered under ISA although the same party was and is still in power.

Who knows, if there is a change of government, some of the present powerful leaders could suffer under this unjust law.

Or even if there is no change of government, if unlucky, losing faction of the present power struggle may be even able to taste the bitterness of the ISA they had supported to use on their opponents.

Dr M: Money politics will ruin Umno in GE

Former Umno president Dr Mahathir Mohamad forewarned Umno leaders involved with money politics -that they are compromising the party’s chances in the next general election. “Now, the whole country knows that the Umno leaders who would be elected were using money. Come the general election, they will reject them because they are corrupt.

mahathir perdana forum bangsa malaysia 121108 02“Not all (are corrupt) but the majority use money. Everyone knows that. So you can be a leader in Umno but it is impossible that the voters will choose you (at the general election)” he said.

He half-jokingly said that perhaps those buying their way to party posts should be detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).   

“That’s a good way to use ISA. Not to arrest somebody who wrote some nonsense,” said Mahathir, a thinly-veiled reference to his one-time ally and popular blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.

Dr M says ISA should be used against corrupt Umno members

    Dr M says ISA should be used against corrupt Umno members 

By Adib Zalkapli

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 12 – Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today suggested the Internal Security Act (ISA) should be used against corrupt Umno members.

He also backed Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the best candidate in the race for the Umno deputy presidency while suggesting that the other two challengers are involved in money politics.

“That’s a good way to use ISA, not for some writer who writes nonsense,” he said of corrupt Umno members and also in an apparent reference to Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin, who was released recently from ISA detention.

Dr Mahathir, who has become increasingly vocal in recent weeks, said there is “a strong possibility that Umno deputy presidential candidates are involved in money politics.”

“Because some people who were at the bottom during the first week, suddenly shot up,” said Mahathir when asked to comment whether the contest for the Umno deputy presidency is tainted with money politics.

The contest for the party’s deputy presidency is now a three way tussle between Muhyiddin, who garnered 92 nominations, Datuk Seri Ali Rustam and Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib.

Ali and Muhammad received the minimum nominations, 39 on the last weekend of the Umno divisional meetings. Ali now has 48 nominations while Muhammad, 45.

“Everybody knows that Umno leaders are using money, when the election comes, the people will reject them. Not everyone is but the majority is. So you can be an Umno leader, but the people will reject you. When we have lost, there is no point in becoming Umno president,” said Mahathir.

“Who wants to elect somebody who bought his way up,” he added

“When you know somebody who has got very bad history and still getting support. That history I think has relevance to the support,” he said when asked about the three cornered fight for the deputy  presidency.

However he said among all the three candidates, Muhyiddin is the most qualified.

He recommended that all party leaders be investigated and removed from the party if found guilty.

“We need to clean up the party. Now you see the opposition is very quiet and Umno is seen as a very corrupt party, so opposition will talk about how they are not corrupt,” said Mahathir.

He said that Umno leaders who are involved in money politics should be thrown into prison.

A blunderbuss of a law


Section 8B of the Internal Security Act says that the Home Minister’s decision cannot be questioned, but there are cases where courts have found ways around it.

Actually, according to the law, any grouping of three people can be deemed an illegal assembly. That means if I were skipping on Jalan Timur with two pals, we could theoretically be arrested as well. Rather silly, isn’t it?

Especially in the light of Article 10 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to assemble peaceably without arms. How do we then reconcile Article 10 with the Police Act which has that “three people can be an illegal assembly” rule?

Well, the Constitution does say that Parliament can make laws that restrict public assemblies if it is for national security or public order. And to empower the police to protect our “national security” and “public order”, we have the Police Act.

Were the people assembling near Jalan Timur carrying weapons? Were they violent? Were they a threat to national security? Were they disturbing public order?

If the answer to all these questions are no, then surely their constitutional right should trump any power the Police Act may give our men and women in blue.

This appears to me to be a case of following the letter of the law, but not the spirit. Fortunately, there are those who are not so shallow in their thinking.

I am speaking, of course, about Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad. He had ordered the release of Raja Petra Kamarudin, declaring the detention order made against him by Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar as unlawful, as it was done beyond the ambit of the Internal Security Act which gave the minister such powers.

Is this judgment correct? Section 8B of the Internal Security Act does say that the minister’s decision cannot be questioned. This is known as an ouster clause, where the court’s power to review a governmental decision is taken away from it.

Well, there are cases where courts have found ways around ouster clauses and the reason they do this is that surely it can’t be intended that a minister should have total and unfettered power.

For example, the use of the ISA is supposed to be only about national security.

If a minister chooses to detain men with long hair because their gorgeous locks are deemed a threat to national security as they make women jealous and therefore are likely to sulk and thus grinding national productivity to a halt, must a judge sit idly by and allow such a ludicrous act on the part of the minister?

Most judges in the past have done just that. They have refused to question the minister’s exercise of power under section 8 of the ISA. Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy bucked the trend and all expectations by deciding otherwise.

And I think his judgment is in all likelihood (it is not yet published so I have not read it in full) legally sound.

The ISA is an awful blunderbuss of a law and to allow anyone the ability to use it with complete discretion is simply making a bad situation worse. The law should be repealed; there is no room for potentially unending detention without trial in a civilised country.

But until that happens, the courts must be a place where one can turn to to ensure that whatever detentions that do occur are not done on grounds beyond the intentions of the Act.

Dr Azmi Sharom is a law teacher. The views expressed here are entirely his own.


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