Perhaps we should celebrate even fleeting victories because the bad news, when it comes, can be rather depressing, observes Zaharom Nain.
It is exactly one year since the Hindraf Five have been detained under spurious charges of having links with the Tamil Tigers of Sri Langka. The Barisan Nasional Government has had one whole year to substantiate this allegation and lay to rest their case in this sordid affair. But, to date, no evidence has been produced to convince doubting citizens that the government had not lied about this allegation.
The Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI)/Abolish ISA Movement (AIM) finds Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak’s statements that the “ISA has protected country from terrorism” (NST, 2 December 2008) and that “the main reason why there have been no serious acts of terrorism in this country is because we have in place the ISA” baseless and unconvincing.
The sixth and last Abolish ISA vigil will be held in Penang on Friday night, 17 October, at 9.00pm in front of the Dewan Sri Pinang. On Sunday, GMI is organising a commemoration of the 21st anniversary of Operasi Lalang at the open space outside Prangin Mall from noon. Be there to show your solidarity!
The Internal Security Act (ISA) has been there for 48 years in Malaysia. For most of the ISA detainees who have been detained without trial in Kamunting, this Hari Raya celebration would be their sixth or seventh Syawal in detention for indefinite period of time with no right to an open trial, no right to defend themselves and no knowledge of their release date.
1 Ogos 2008 menandakan 48 tahun kewujudan undang-undang zalim Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri atau Internal Security Act (ISA). Asal usul ISA ialah daripada Ordinan Darurat 1948 yang telah memenuhi tujuannya dan kemudiannya dimansuhkan dengan tamatnya darurat pada 30 Julai 1960. Walau bagaimanapun, kuasa menahan tanpa bicara di bawah Peraturan 17 Ordinan Darurat telah dikekalkan dan dimasukkan dalam Bahagian II ISA.
On 26 June 2008, representatives from Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI), upon the invitation of Opposition Leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, held a press conference at the entrance of the Parliament building after being unjustifiably denied access to proceed to the lobby of the Parliament. They had wanted to hand over a joint memorandum in support of victims of torture in conjunction with the International Day Against Torture, particularly those who are being detained under the draconian ISA, observes Fadiah Nadwa Fikri of the Bar Council’s human rights committee.