Monday, September 15, 2008


Wrong use of ISA
- Act should not be used on civilians, says Zaid
- ISA has not been properly used :Ng


The Internal Security Act (ISA) should not be used on civilians, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said yesterday. Zaid, who is also the de facto Law Minister, said the ISA should be used specifically to stem the activities of terrorists, communist subversives and those attempting He said the ISA should be used for the stated purpose and “we keep to that”. The country has many laws which could be applied in issues such as racial tension and threats to national security, he told reporters at his residence. Zaid was asked to comment on the detention of Malaysia Today blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, Seputeh Member of Parliament Teresa Kok and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng under the ISA on Friday. Tan was released on Saturday. “We have many laws which the Police could have used to detain the three people without having to use the ISA. We have the Sedition Act and the Penal Code,” he said. Zaid also said many other approaches could be employed to minimise racial differences or issues, including through dialogue sessions and peaceful discussions. Meanwhile, Zaid is expected to contest the post of Kota Baharu Umno Division head in a straight fight with the acting head Datuk Mohd Fatmi Salleh. Zaid was suspended as the division head for 18 months from Jan 1 last year, and the Umno Supreme Council decided that he cannot lead the division after serving out the suspension and had to wait until the next divisional election. In Tawau, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen urged the Government to review the ISA to ensure that it would not be used indiscriminately. Expressing disappointment over the arrest of the Sin Chew Daily reporter under the Act, Dr Ng said the arrest should not have been made as the reporter was only doing her job. “We hope this will not happen again. If we say we give freedom to the media, then we should give that freedom. This reporter (Tan) had no intention of threatening national security. “With this incident, we have seen again that the ISA has not been properly used. So, the Government needs to look again at the scope and implementation of the ISA,” said the Wanita MCA Chief who was on a visit to Tawau yesterday. -Bernama

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