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Published: Monday January 13, 2014 MYT 4:55:00 PM
Updated: Monday January 13, 2014 MYT 4:59:50 PM

Musa Hitam: No need to entertain calls to bring back ISA

MARAN: A former deputy prime minister, Tun Musa Hitam, said the Government need not entertain calls from any group to bring back the Internal Security Act (ISA) because any decision to bring back the act would have a negative implication on the present Government.

He said any move to bring back the ISA would give the impression that the present Government did not have the confidence to defend the decision made previously.

"The issue now is not a law or a certain act that needs to be introduced or implemented, but the real issue is the method that we use in implementing or enforcing the existing law.

"Malaysia actually has achieved its own level of progress when the Government announced the decision to abolish the ISA, so where is the necessity to bring back the ISA?" he told reporters after attending a dialogue session and get together with students in conjunction with the programme 'Changing the Destiny of the People' (Program Mengubah Destini Anak Bangsa) (MDAB) sponsored by the Sime Darby Foundation at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Jengka Campus on Monday.

At the programme, about 400 UiTM sudents had the opportunity of participating in a dialogue with Musa on various current issues and the development of the MDAB programme, which was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in 2010.

Commenting further, Musa said the country's security forces today were mature enough to face the various provocations and this was proven by their successes in tackling whatever crises that had cropped up in the country.

"We have seen that the existing security forces were capable of resolving the various crises and tackling the threats. Certainly, all these had given them the maturity to enfore the law," he said.

As such, he felt there was no necessity to bring back the ISA, on the other hand, the focus should be on the aspects of implementing and enforcing the existing laws.

Meanwhile, in Kuala Lumpur, Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong opposed the proposal to revive the Internal Security Act (ISA) in dealing with certain extremists to destabilise the country.

He felt that it was a backsliding move that went against human and civil rights endorsement of the current society, thus the country should not revert to the notorious ISA era of uncontrolled executive power to accuse, adjudicate and imprison for indefinite periods without authority of the courts.

"The enactment and re-enactment of laws should best manifest the interests, will and requirement of the people, whereas ISA was widely regarded as draconian and unnecessary in view of Malaysia's progress to achieve the 'developed nation' status.

"The Government should indeed respect the people's will in our maturing civil society and committed to human and civil rights enhancement," Mah said in a statement.

He noted that the existing laws such as Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), Prevention of Crime Act (PCA), Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code are adequate to fight any serious crime.

Mah reinstated that the party would remain firm in categorically objecting the proposed re-implementation of the ISA as Gerakan strongly believed in civil empowerment and advocating for human rights in Malaysia.

The multiracial party has been a seasoned campaigner against ISA in the past where Youth Chief Datuk Lim Si Pin even marched to the National Palace to submit a memorandum to Yang Di-Pertuan Agong calling for the abolition of ISA in July 2009, which served as a strong testament to Gerakan's resoluteness in protesting against ISA.

On Jan 9, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad suggested that the Government brought back the repealed ISA to control the actions of the extremist minority which he said had undermined the country's stability. - Bernama

Tags / Keywords: Musa Hitam, ISA, Government

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