Media Statement by Dr. Chen Man Hin in Seremban on Tuesday, 4th August 2009:
PM Najib Razak should abolish the ISA if he is to keep to his promise to build a 1Malaysia, as the ISA is an antiquated repressive law, and will retard Malaysia to become a modern progressive and prosperous Malaysia
The ISA was introduced in the era when the Malayan Communist Party fought to control the country, at which time Tunku Abdul Rahman was the Prime Minister.
Communism is not a threat any more. Chin Peng the chief of the Malayan Communist Party surrendered at a widely publicised surrender ceremony at Baling. Later Russia and China, the two largest communist countries in the world, also announced their rejection of communism to dominate the world.
Today there is no threat of communism in Malaysia, and the ISA has become an anomaly. However, it is being retained by Barisan not to deal against communists, but to harass and oppress the Opposition political parties. Opposition leaders who speak up for democracy, for justice and transparency are summarily arrested under the ISA and detained for years without trial.
This is a gross miscarriage of justice. The democratic Opposition wants the ISA to be abolished and not just ‘amended’ as proposed by PM Najib.
PM Najib, suggested that the Opposition could have dialogue with him, as he is prepared to amend the ISA.
For the information of the people, the Opposition, the Bar Council, NGOs have’ for years voiced their protests against the ISA. But the BN government has stubbornly refused to listen, and instead have continued using the ISA against all those who chose to exercise their fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
BECAUSE THE PM REFUSED TO LISTEN TO THE YEAR UPON YEAR OF CALLS FOR ABOLISHING THE ISA, THE PR LEADERS AFTER CAREFUL CONSIDERATION, FELT IT FIT TO ORGANISE A PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AS A WAKE UP CALL TO THE PM.
PR leaders, Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang and Hadi Awang, are within their rights to call for a peaceful assembly, because according to the UN Declaration of Human Rights ‘EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND ASSOCIATION’. This is the inalienable right of a person, as guaranteed by the UN charter on human rights.
PR assembly was planned to be peaceful. It was the police who raised the tension and provoked anger from the assembly because they used tear gas and water cannons.
It was the police who created a lock up of Kuala Lumpur streets and also all roads leading into KL because of the erection of police blocks at every intersection.
If KL lost 200 millions ringgits of business, the blame should be laid fully on the police.
If there is to be a talk between PM and PR is should not be on how to amend the ISA but how to replace it with a new law to deal with the new threat of terrorism.
* Dr. Chen Man Hin, DAP Life Advisor