Monday, September 15, 2008

Malaysian Govt’s use of ISA is cowardly, absurd, haphazard and despicable

Seelan Palay: I whole-heatedly condemn the recent 3 ISA arrests in Malaysia. My friend and fellow local socio-political blogger Ng E-Jay has best summed up my views on the matter.

Malaysian Govt’s use of ISA is cowardly, absurd, haphazard and despicable
Written by Ng E-Jay
13 Sept 2008

The arrest of Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Sin Chew Daily News reporter Tan Hoon Cheng, and DAP’s Teresa Kok under Section 73(1) of the Malaysia’s Internal Security Act is nothing but a despicable, haphazard, and cowardly measure on the part of the BN to intimidate the opposition and silence dissent.

It is a last-miniute, terribly ill-conceived, fumbling, desperate measure by Malaysia’s ruling party to hang on to power which is fast slipping away from their weakening grip.

The Government’s charge that these 3 people are stoking racism is becoming the standard excuse for clampdowns of this nature. Of course, when people start being labelled as racists when they are in fact defending the rights of citizens and criticizing the Government for itself practicing racism, you know the Government has sunk to a new low.

The BN must think that it can use paper to cover fire, that outright lies can delay the inevitable. History will not judge its actions kindly.

Even if these 3 people are racists, there are adequate laws outside ISA that can be used to prosecute them. To invoke the ISA shows the world the real intentions of the Malaysian Government, which is so obvious I will not bother to elaborate.

Although Sin Chew Daily News reporter Tan Hoon Cheng has been released, there is no news of the other two.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar has been quoted as denying that the crackdown was aimed at suppressing dissent, and that one of the reasons Tan Hoon Cheng was taken into custody was because the authorities “received reports her life was threatened“.

I cannot even begin to describe how lame, absurd, and illogical this statement is. If a person’s life is being threatened, he or she deserves police protection, not detention under a draconian law.

Clearly the use of ISA in this instance is haphazard and reeks of total lack of planning and control. It reveals that the BN has lost its nerve and is trying to grasp at straws in a final, flailing bid to remain in power.

The BN has lost every ounce of morality and credibility and no longer deserves to be in power.