Saturday, September 17, 2011

ISA: Najib delivers his promises

Anwar was fast to lash out at Najib's announcement on dismantling of the ISA. Kit Siang, Guan Eng and gang had yet to make any remarks about it while PAS leadership just couldn't find the right words for their comment.

Only Karpal made a statement earlier today, calling the repeal of the ISA as 'the breath of fresh air'.

The Opposition bench was taken by surprise, actually. They were the ones shouting around for the ISA to be abolished. They were the ones who had been telling the whole world about how 'draconian' the law was.

Even the NGOs were tight lips about it. Where is Ambiga who led the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9? Where are the patrons of 'strip the ISA', including a few members of the Bar Council? Aren't they happy that they are now 'free' to do anything - organising more street demos, badmouthing the nation and government, and belittling the judiciary and our democracy?

Najib's announcement on Thursday was not meant to please the Opposition. In fact, many strong upholders of the ISA were disappointed. Some BN leaders, pro-govt journalists and members of the ruling party were also shocked at the bold move.

Home Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein regarded the abolition of the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 as a journey of the country's transformation (here), and efforts to modify existing laws was necessary to keep abreast with changing times and to safeguard the people's interest and national security.

In a commentary 'Making Way for Civil Liberty', the Star newspaper says "...Together, this exercise at democratisation is the biggest and most significant change in the country since independence and advances personal freedom and civil liberties for citizens. Clearly, Najib has decided that the time is long overdue for combating communism and racial and religious extremism to make way for personal liberties and civil rights."

Many have forgotten that Najib, in his first speech as the premier in 1999, had avowed his intention to review the ISA which was also not favored by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The abolition of the Internal Security and Banishment Acts is part of a journey which started two years ago and not because of the opposition's pressure tactics. And the Opposition's claim that the announcement was meant to lure voters in the next national poll, is also unfounded.

The process started when the prime minister announced that he was looking at the ISA in a holistic way. And as such, he has fulfilled part of what he had promised in the Political Transformation Programme.

The people can judge for themselves the courage needed in doing something unexpected, which was not leaked, politicised or exploited over the past two years. The opposition can claim anything but they too have to mirror themselves with regard to their promises during the 2008 general election.

The Opposition, NGOs and the rakyat must also be aware that the government in all honesty and goodwill have also met key stakeholders to address the issues involved and how to move forward, which is a brilliant thing to do provided.

Many countries have altered or changed their domestic security laws in the wake of 9/11 and ours too will have to be redefined to meet greater challenges posed by a new kind of threats to the nation.

So, if the Opposition and NGOs are not pleased, please be kindly reminded that it was not meant to please them at all!

In my opinion, the dissent by some quarters, including from the pro-ISA camp, is normal. When the ISA was introduced 51 years ago, it sent shocks and shivers to many too but it began to gain support when it started to give positive impact in dealing with the insurgency and other threatening elements to the national security.


9 comments:

Ryzal72 said...

Jai, REVIEW n ABOLISH are different 2 things. TQ

muscles said...

anwar was disappointed by the announcement. he was looking at a wider angle to hit out at najib and the ISA but now, he needs to find new and fresh points of contest.

i think the Opp was taken aback. they thought najib will not disband the ISA and that will continue to provide them with valid reasons to batter the govt.

nasri, kulai said...

jai,

i believe najib is sincere. he himself has been considering it over the last two years.

the people must be grateful that with the lifting of the isa, the country is free of any draconian and colonial laws and this gives them more space to speak and give opinion on how to help develop the nation.

najib has made a landmark footing there...

siti umbrella said...

pembangkang kena cari modal baru untuk belasah najib dan kerajaannya.

karpal sendiri dah cakap langkah ni suatu yang baik untuk negara dan semua pihak.

apa lagi pembangkang nak selepas ni?

nak runtuhkan institusi beraja pulak ke?

Anonymous said...

those who defended ISA must realise that the time has come for us to make do without it. time evolves and our security needs is changing....

old curtains said...

the 2 new sets of laws to replace ISA will contain a few clauses of the draconian laws.

believe it.... nothing will change that much!

the govt is still in control!

pendokong ISA said...

aku tak setuju ISA dimansuhkan. negara kita bukan negara seperti singapura, jepun, australia dan negara yang dikuasai satu kaum. kita negara majmuk. skop keselamatan dan cara mengatasinya juga berbeza dengan mereka. kita dihantui banyak pihak yang sengaja ingin mencetuskan perbalahan kaum dan agama. inilah yang kita bimbangkan. biarlah orang kata ISA tidak relevan tetapi dalam konteks malaysia, ia memang sesuai. jika undang2 baru nanti gagal mengawal keadaan, maka akan huru-haralah negara. kita sama2lah tengok nanti!

pembaca banyak blog said...

aku baca blog - ramai gak bloger yang tak senang hati dengan pemansuhan isa ni, jai.

diorang ni ikut sebelah mana?

Anonymous said...

why didnt he do it at the early stage of his tenure as a pm? why now when general election is just around the corner?

u think our rakyat is stupid huh?