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47th Anniversary ISA August 2, 2007

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Human Rights, Islam in Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Southeast Asia.


Today August 1, 2007 marks the 47th Anniversary of the enactment of the notorious Internal Security Act. The ISA of 1960 was originally enacted to succeed emergency laws aimed at combating the communist insurgency during the 1940s and 1950s, has since then been used against those who commit acts deemed to be “prejudicial to the security of Malaysia”, or threatening to the “maintenance of essential services” or “economic life”. The government arbitrarily determines which acts fall into these categories and, using a loose interpretation of the legislation, has detained scores of individuals under the ISA, among which are prisoners of conscience, trade unionists, teachers, religious activist and community workers.

We are celebrating 50 years of independence but what is the meaning of it if the state still uses ISA by detaining persons without trial and without any form of judicial process?

The draconian act infringes the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), as listed below,

Article 5, Federal Constitution of Malaysia

* (3) Where a person is arrested he shall be informed as soon as may be of the grounds of his arrest and shall be allowed to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice.
* (4) Where a person is arrested and not released he shall without unreasonable delay, and in any case within twenty-four hours (excluding the time of any necessary journey) be produced before a magistrate and shall not be further detained in custody without the magistrate’s authority and

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
Article 11.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense.

Are We Still In A State Of Emergency To Resort To Such “Emergency” Law As ISA?

The ISA has been kept in use all this time mainly because it is a very convenient tool at the disposal of the ruling coalition. The ISA itself has served as an instrument of terror of the State and used consistently against dissidents who have defended the democratic and human rights of the Malaysian people. While we are not under any state of emergency, ISA’s cloud still put us in under a state of siege mentality. Even if there is a state of emergency, there can be no justification for a person to be detained for extended periods of time without trial. Any wonder that such a draconian law was enacted on the year the Emergency was declared over!

Torture under ISA

All these years under the ISA, the first sixty days of solitary confinement have been more draconian than even the security laws in South Africa under Apartheid, or even in the Northern Ireland during the war against the Irish Republican Army.

In February 2004, 31 ISA detainees who were alleged as terrorist of Jemaah Islamiah (JI) and held at the Kamunting detention camp, accused the police of applying 59 forms of mental and physical torture, among them round-the-clock interrogation depriving detainees of sleep, stripped naked during interrogation, forced to urinate in a bottle, forced to drink spittle of interrogators, beard shaved and burned, ordered to make tea, massage the interrogators, threat to arrest their family members, kicked and beaten up etc.

In an ongoing civil suit of a detainee against the government, former detainee Malek Hussin told that he was stripped naked, kicked and beaten-up, forced fed dirty and stinking water and subjected to sexual abuse.

Every decade has grisly tales of torture to relate. These dark deeds by the Malaysian Special Branch are the scandalous side of “Malaysia Boleh”. The biggest scandal of all is that to date, none of these torturers have been brought to justice, nor have deterrent sentences been passed on them. These cases are only tips of the iceberg. While the government denies any such acts, it remains very difficult for victims of torture to prove the acts, especially while in detention. (To be continued)
(Statement by Abolish ISA Movement)


1. WATTAHACK? - August 2, 2007

in other words malaysia is still a crybaby…. a 50yr old crybaby that luvs to wet his pants and run to papa over spilled milk!

2. walski69 - August 2, 2007

Not to be a blog-whore, but M is for Merdeka… and until & unless we can truly embrace the real meaning of Merdeka, I for one am putting any celebrations this year On Hold…

EW: I think I’ll join your party, to celebrate nothingness.

3. nuraina samad - August 2, 2007

it means that we need repressive laws to deal with people like bloggers. remember it was Nazri who threatened bloggers. of course he said bloggers who write seditious articles that insult the Agong and/or Islam.
i have been searching and searching… i can’t find seditious articles by bloggers and here i am referring to known/named bloggers.
see, that’s the government propaganda — bloggers equal people who spread seditious stuff. Bad people who are causing instability in the country.

so, yes, in 2007, the ISA is still being used as a terror instrument against the citizens of the country.

it means that we are intolerant of criticisms and therefore, we need repressive laws – this terror instrument – to deal with critics of the government.

it therefore means that critics of the government are a security threat and deserved to be detained without trial. no court order needed to detain you for 60 days.

4. monsterball - August 2, 2007

Nothing to be too proud about….when race and religion seems to be the way of life… to forge ourselves to a hypocritical Vision 2020….yet welcomed by so many millions.

5. kittykat46 - August 2, 2007

Hi Elizabeth, I received confirmation that the Hindu temple at Tambak Paya, Melaka, which you blogged about in July, has indeed been destroyed.

There’s a web link on the news below.


EW: 😦 Yes it’s true. My friend was arrested trying to stop the eviction.

6. dzulman - August 3, 2007

Malaysian Govt is retaining the ISA is because it wants to keep the USA, UK, French and Australian Govts company as they have from time to time seek advice from Malaysia, they have introduced a more stringent preventive laws. At least over here the ISA detainees have recourse to the judiciary – not in the US.

Whatever others say about the ISA it is a naked fact that it helps to maintain peace in this unbalanced country!

7. V T - August 3, 2007

and another link…… http://www.policewatchmalaysia.com/index.php?subaction=showfull&id=1185859066&archive=&start_from=&ucat=5&

so much fore for a wee temple, here’s……………. power overdrive.

8. monsterball - August 5, 2007

dzulman…You sure can twists and turn things to sound logical.
I quote..”ISA it is a naked fact that it helps to maintain peace in this unbalanced country”
Are you one of them got filthy rich malays doing nothing?
hahahahaha…..peace and harmony by applying ISA!!
That’s something only few like dzulman ..can talk like that…and boy..what a terrible hypocrite he is. I wonder what Allah tells him 5 times a day…to speak the truth or tell lies.
Who knows…he maybe one praying for easy MONEY…not Allah.

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