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Friday, May 2, 2008

No matter how evil the ISA is, do not repeal it

Living in Malaysia for 17 years, i have never seen deadly riots ala LA 1992 or France 2005. I have never seen a leader assasinated the same way Juvénal Habyarimana, Rafik Hariri, Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto were. I have never seen Indians chopping Malay heads, nor have i seen Chinese people burning Indian homes.

But what if i did? Who will be responsible? What can be done?

Those are three questions that has led to the creation of the ISA. After May 13 1969, the ISA is set up so that such event won't happen again.

In the cases of Ops Lalang and the HINDRAF 5, i know it's unfair for journalists, activists, and politicians to be locked in Kamunting and get shitted ala Shawshank Redemption, but that doesn't mean the ISA should be repealed. Sure, the mistreatment was unfair, but we can change that.

I support street rallies hold by Bersih, UMNO Youth or any organisations. I support the causes of HINDRAF because it's the best way for the MIC to reform itself. However, street demonstrations must be held in a civilised and orderly manner just like Anonymous and Stop the War Coalition, and the protestors must be responsible for their own actions. I don't want street demonstrations to be turned into riots. I don't want shops and businesses being destroyed. I don't want this country to have a bad worldwide image. If such happens, where do i look up to? Ofcourse, i look up to the ISA.

In the wake of the DAP and the Pakatan Rakyat calling for the repeal of the ISA, here's an advice: Don't repeal it, but reform it. Being the son of a journalist who witnessed Ops Lalang, i say let's make things better. Let's change the ISA. Give more freedom, more trials and less punishment. Give its detainess a sunlight. We don't want a South East Asian Guantanamo Bay. We want the ISA to be a lesson for May 13. Let me tell you this: If Lim Kit Siang/Abdul Hadi Awang/Anwar Ibrahim is the new PM, none will repeal the ISA. Why? Because street riots always happen in every country, and the only way they could control the populi is throught he ISA.

2 comments:

-su- said...

I hope you don't find it offensive what I have to say, it's just my two cents.

I'm against the ISA, I make no qualms about that. And just to make something clear, the ISA was not put into place after May 13. It was there since the British times, to control the communists. It was only made a bigger issue by the May13 incident.

it's true that we would need something to curb racial riots and the like, especially in Malaysia because of the multi-racial make up.But ISA is not the way to go about things. As it is, anyone and everyone can be put into lock-up if they're suspected of something, and it doesn't matter if they have proof or not. And this is thanks to ISA.

Maybe you're right in saying that we don't need to repeal it, but make it better. I think that it might be the way to go too.

The things that are wrong with ISA is only that it deprives its detainees of basic human rights. There are people in detention under the ISA for many years now, and they have yet to see trial because there has been no proof. For ISA detainees, they have to "prove their innocence", instead of being "innocent till proven guilty", they have it the other way round.

Perhaps this comment is getting slightly too long, but this is what I have to say about the ISA. At the very least, there has to be some major moderations to the ISA as it stands now.

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