Time-table for the abolition of ISA
DAP National Deputy Chairman reiterates that the Central Government should have a time-table for the abolition of the Internal Security Act, ISA, and the promulgation of new laws such as the Anti-Terrorism Act, the contents of which should be made public.
On 28,9,2011, Dr Tan spoke at the Proham (Association for The Promotion of Human Rights) meeting at a committee room in parliament. The meeting was addressed by YB Datuk Dr HJ Wan Junaidi, the Deputy Speaker, attended by Datuk Abu Zahar Ujang, Speaker of the Senate. The meeting was moderated by Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria.
The Proham Secretary is Datuk Michael Yeoh. Besides two MPs , YB Ngeh Koo Ham, YB Dr Dzulkifly Ahmad & YB Senator Dato PK Suppiah, I was the only MP who participated. The rest were mostly journalists.
It is a good thing to see people interested in human rights. I assume that all are genuine. I hope the discussion would not be much ado about nothing.
I started to speak on himan rights in 1976. Eleven years later, I was one of them sent to the Kamunting University uder ISA, Operation Lalang, which is recorded in the book The First 60 Days.
Internatinally, there are the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Charter, International Court and many Human Rights NGOs. These are good things. All human beings should have human rights. But, these rights should not be abused or misused.
For example, Sadam Hussein of Iraq, Mujahidin of Afghanistan and Gaddafi of Libya imprisoned, tortured and killed many people. But, the United States (US), European Union (EU) and others have used these and the responsibility to protect against Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, destroying the leaders and killing many innocent people. What do the US and the EU get in return?
EU military aircratfs had over 200.000 sorties over Libya with over 7,500 strikes over Gadaffi's targets. What is the actual number?. EU soldiers trained and fought side-by-side anti-Gadaffi forces. How many people have they tortured and killed?
What is powerful for good is also powerful for evil.
Nationally, successive Prime Ministers solomnly promised against the use of ISA on politicians. I met all of them except Tun Razak. The first PM Tunku Abdul Rahman stressed that the object of ISA was to deal with communists and not with politicians. The invocation of ISA to detain people who are opposed to government policies is unjustifiable.
On 3.11.1998, I met Mr H R Hickling at a Human Rights Seminar. He drafted ISA in 1960. I told him I was detained under ISA. "Is that so.?" he asked. " Did they give you the whole works?"
Now, PM Najib has claimed credit for the intention to abolish ISA. Let us have a time-table for its abolition and the promulgation of new laws such as Anti-Terrorism Act. Lets define terrorism, preventive detention, the power of the Home Minister, the Advisory Board or its equivalent. Such a law should not be abused.
Dr Tan Seng Giaw.