Nov 9, 2008

Internal Security Act, 1960... What Our Prime Ministers Said?

What our prime ministers defined ISA?

The first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman
The purpose of the act as to "be used solely against the communists, I gave a solemn promise to Parliament and the nation that the immense powers given to the government under the ISA would never be used to stifle legitimate opposition and silence lawful dissent"

The third Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn
Stated at the same time that his administration had enforced the act only with a view to curbing communist activity, and not to repress "lawful political opposition and democratic citizen activity"

The fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Went on the record in 1988 to state "If we want to save Malaysia and Umno, Dr Mahathir must be removed. He uses draconian laws such as the Internal Security Act to silence his critics." The year before, he had also stated "Laws such as the Internal Security Act have no place in modern Malaysia. It is a draconian and barbaric law." But in 2003 Prime Minister called the ISA "a necessary law," and argued "We have never misused the Internal Security Act. All those detained under the Internal Security Act are proven threats to society."

Initially, the stated purpose of the ISA was to defend communist activity in Malaysia during the Malayan Emergency. Since 1960 when the Act was enacted, thousands of people including trade unionists, student leaders, labour activists, political activists, religious groups, academicians, NGO activists have been arrested under the ISA. Prime Minister had personally signed the detention order that allows the leaders of HINDRAF to be detained without trial for two years.

1 comment:

valaiya said...