Norian Mai should caution the Sabah CPO for threatening ISA against "headhunter" rumour-mongers as Parliament had never intended ISA for this purpose

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Norian Mai should caution the Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Yusuff for threatening that those spreading rumours of "headhunters" in Sabah risk being detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) as Parliament had never intended the detention-without-trial ISA for such a purpose.

Of late, there seems to be a tendency among certain law enforcement authorities to take the easy way out by threatening to invoke the ultimate and the worst consequences, such as the detention-without-trial ISA against rumour-mongers, as if this the short-cut or even the panacea for all problems of law and order in the country.

Rumours of head-hunting in Sabah is irresponsible, most reprehensible and even criminal, but are these anti-social pursuits the fit subjects for detention-without-trial ISA even to the die-hard advocates and defenders of ISA, and if so, who is going to draw the line between ISA and non-ISA rumours - considering the avalanche of rumours swirling around government leaders and political personalities? Or will we get to the stage one day where rumours against Barisan Nasional leaders are "ISA-able" but not rumours against Opposition leaders?

At a time of increasing calls for the repeal of the ISA, frequent resort or threat to widen the scope of the detention-without-trial ISA by top police officers is most deplorable, and reflects the failure of the human rights education of Suhakam for police officers in the past three years.

This should be a fit occasion and opportunity for Suhakam to conduct a full review of its human rights education programme for the police to assess how better to achieve a greater degree of human rights conscientisation and commitment among the top police personnel.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman