Gerakan against bringing back ISA

KUALA LUMPUR: The government should not entertain “ill-considered and irresponsible” calls to reintroduce the Internal Security Act (ISA), cautioned the Gerakan’s Central Bureau of Laws and Human Rights in a statement.

The government should instead further commit itself to “human and civil rights enhancement”, said Baljit Singh, who heads the Gerakan bureau.

The lawyer was expressing his objections, in the wake of Bersih 5, to bringing back the ISA.

Several parties have also called for public figures, suspected of corruption, to be detained without a court order.

Baljit reminded that Prime Minister Najib Razak had previously said the ISA would be repealed along with emergency ordinances, declarations and restrictions.

“This reflects the wishes of the people and their maturity;” said Baljit, warning that reintroducing the ISA was a backward move.

“It goes against society endorsing human and civil rights,” he said.

In any case, he said, Gerakan was against reverting to the notorious ISA era.

Baljit recalled that when the draconian Act was in force, there was uncontrolled executive power to accuse, adjudicate and imprison for indefinite periods without authority of the courts.

The reasons for reintroducing the ISA were completely invalid, he added.

“The country has laws that can be used when circumstances arise.”

He cited the Penal Code, Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and Criminal Procedure Code.

“The issue is not the absence of ISA, but how the authorities are enforcing existing laws,” said Baljit.

He argued against referring to past ways of solving problems and in finding excuses to reintroduce ISA.

“It is no longer relevant.

“The emphasis should be on promoting and enhancing democracy and human rights,” he said.





Follow @partigerakan