On the Internal Security Act, and more demonstrations…

Finally, the ISA has been called into effect, as 5 HINDRAF leaders has been detained under the draconian rule. Pak Lah himself has commented, that he “will not feel sorry to sign the detention orders”. The five were reported to be Hindraf legal adviser P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, R. Kenghadharan, V. Ganabatirau and T. Vasanthakumar — prominent members of the group, which organized the mass anti-discrimination rally by as many as 30,000 ethnic Indians which turned violent, with protesters battling police with motorcycle helmets. One officer was injured. Subsequently 31 members of the march were charged with sedition and attempted murder.

Human rights, Malaysian style…

The ISA has been criticized repeatedly by both international and domestic human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch, the Malaysian Bar Council, and the Malaysian Human Rights Commission on grounds that it violates fundamental international standards. Enacted in the early 1960s by the British colonial government during a national state of emergency to put down a communist insurrection, it allows for detention of any person the police deem to be a threat for up to 60 days.

Detainees are denied access to legal counsel. Police can act on suspicion that an individual “has acted or is about to act or is likely to act in any manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia or any part thereof or to maintenance of essential services therein or to the economic life thereof.” The law allows the Minister of Home Affairs to extend detention for up to two years without trial or submission of evidence. The detention order can be renewed indefinitely. Some 100 people currently are detained under the law, according to the AFP wire service, most of them Islamic militants.

What are we coming to? Just weeks ago, Malaysia announced to all and sundry that “we are a democracy!”. Zam himself, no less, and then reiterated by Nazri, said that peaceful demonstrations are allowed. If what they mean by peaceful, demonstrators get drenched in chemicals, tear-gassed, and then arrested and charged for sedition and attempted murder, then I hate to imagine what a violent demonstration would entail.

This weekend, we hear whispers of another big gathering on the 16th of December, by the PEKIDA people, in the heart of Malayland in KL, in Kampung Baru no less. There has also been whispers of plans to fill Stadium Raja Muda with Malay warriors and ‘pendekars’…  The PEKIDA get-together, I was told, was supposed to put the HINDRAF fellas to shame. Just last night, the roadblocks have started. And that was a Thursday. And then there’s the non-statement from Hishamuddin and Najib, calling the rakyat to ignore the calls to the non-existent gathering on Sunday… Hmmm… howzzat? How to not to come to a non-existent gathering? We’ll wait with bated breath, and see if the PEKIDA Malays too, will be given the complete FRU spa deluxe…

An even more interesting question would be whether the PEKIDA gathering, if it happens, will entail its leaders getting ISA-ed? After all, the Advisor of PEKIDA is Pak Lah himself, no less… So how now? ISA the man? This weekend is going to be an interesting one, ladies and gentlemen. I suggest you sit back, and enjoy the show…

Reminding those with a morbid curiosity to see the happenings of KL this weekend, that there is a PUTRA-LRT station at Kampung Baru itself 🙂 – Jasmine.


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