ISA may be used on IT abusers

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 05 Oct 2004

INFORMATION technology (IT) abusers who spread negative news and pose a threat to national security can be detained under the Internal Security Act, said Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Noh Omar. 

The culprits could also be tried in open court if the authorities had incriminating evidence of them hacking into government secrets and debating sensitive religious issues on the website or in whatever form of communication, including the mass media. 

“We’ve detected a website that posts unhealthy news. The operators have been warned to stop discussing religious issues on the website or risk stern action,” he said at the Parliament lobby yesterday. 

Declining to name the website concerned, Noh said he wanted them to stop harping on religious issues as this could spark racial tension. 

He added that those operating websites should not publish contents that contain such elements as public response could turn into debates and this would create feelings of uneasiness. 

On whether the website or the writer could be picked up under the ISA, Noh said: 

“When I say stop it, they should stop it. I don’t want to pre-empt something,” he added, saying that people should not question the Federal Constitution. 

Noh did not rule out the use of ISA against these people but added that to date, no such abusers have been detained under the Act. 

“In the future, with the expertise of certain individuals in using the Internet, it may be difficult to charge them in open court. 

“So this is when we will detain them under the ISA,” he said, adding that the move was to safeguard national security. 

Noh said Malaysians should learn from past history to avoid making mistakes, adding that the Government would not use the ISA unnecessarily. 

To questions by Teresa Kok (DAP – Seputeh), he said 27 KMM people were picked up since May 2001. Of this number, 12 were detained under the ISA, three were charged in court and four were released. 

Ninety-four Jemaah Islamiah (JI) people were picked up and 75 of them were detained under the ISA. 

Eleven were released, seven were given restricted residence and one was still under investigation. 

Noh said that up to August this year, 101 people have been detained under the ISA but none of them were politically affiliated.  

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