NGOs want ISA abolished, not replaced

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 21 May 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: A coalition of non-governmental organisations has opposed a new legislation proposed by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) to replace the Internal Security Act (ISA). 

Speaking on behalf of the coalition of 30 NGOs after a meeting with Suhakam at Menara Tun Razak yesterday, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) director Dr Kua Kia Soong said the ISA should be abolished altogether and not be replaced by another set of laws.  

“We are quite happy Suhakam is reviewing the ISA but we don’t think there should be a watered-down version of the ISA. The existing law is adequate to deal with any threat to national security,” he said. 

Suhakam proposed last month that the ISA be replaced and repealed with a new legislation. The new legislation, among others, proposed that an order from a High Court judge was required to detain a person for more than 24 hours and the maximum period a person could be detained was not more than 29 days from the date of arrest. 

A Suhakam commissioner said the proposed legislation was not meant to be an alternative to the ISA. 

He said it offered protection to the person arrested for subversion whereby the person could be detained for a prescribed period of time and subsequently charged or released under regular criminal procedure.  

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