Loyal Followers

Friday, March 26, 2010

In answer to lack of candle-light vigils for Mat Selamat

The ISA has just got to go. Lock, stock and barrel.

The ISA transgresses the very basic right of any human being in a modern society, i.e. the right to be heard. The untold power that is held by the executive to detain a person without trial INDEFINITELY even on the grounds of national security is frightening. And soon that will be abused. And, my God, hasn’t it been abused in Malaysia?

And there is another far more insidious aspect of the ISA — torture. As a legal practitioner, I have come across many allegations of torture. And there is a trend. They get beaten up. Stand naked in front of the air-conditioner while being doused with water for hours on end. Made to drink their own urine. These are consistent allegations. And now these allegations are no more allegations per se.

It has been proven in our High Court. Please refer to Abdul Malek Hussin v Borhan Hj Daud & Others [2008]1 CLJ 264.

The Mat Selamat case and the 10 foreigners recently are just examples of further abuse. Mat Selamat was detained in Singapore for being a threat to Singapore’s security. He was alleged to have planned a bombing of Changi airport. Is he a threat to Malaysia’s security? On what basis did we arrive to the conclusion that he is a threat to our security?

Meanwhile, the 10 foreigners are said to be linked to international terrorism cells. Are these cells planning to do something to our country? Are they threat to our security? They might be a threat to somebody’s security, but whose?

The ISA can only be used, as it is, to prevent threat to OUR security. Why is it being used on these 10 people? If we form the conclusion that they are a threat to us, on what basis did we do so?

You will note that, now, even document forgers, SMS senders and a Melayu who apparently converted to Christianity were detained under the ISA!!! Are they threats to our security? Why can’t we charge them and give them the right to be heard before condemning them to imprisonment?

These are the things which make the ISA draconian.

As to why there are no candle light vigils for them, I do not profess to have an answer. People are motivated in their own individualistic way. But that does not mean that the people want the ISA.

If we want to combat terrorism, why don’t we have an Anti-Terrorism Act, like the British do? I can give you a copy. And you will see how they treat their accused persons. They have surely graduated from the old, dark dungeon days.

We, on the other hand, are not only practising it but trying to perfect the art of dungeon trial and torture.


Sinatra_Z said...

what's wrong with amendments then? Making it less draconian and taking examples from the British anti terror law bill.

art harun said...


The whole regime of the ISA is unconstitutional and is against the concept of fundamental liberties. It has to be repealed and replaced with something else.

The ISA is a non-starter so to speak.

In my opinion, no amount of amendment could make it legal unless what you are suggesting is that the name is the only thing to be retained by the proposed amendments while the whole regime of detention without trial is taken away by the same amendments.

If that was the case, I would agree. But the easier way is of course for it to be repealed and replaced.

semuanya OK kot said...

Why are Malaysians contibuting to Mas' upkeep? Does this also come under "don't" question", the same Animal Farm principle as for the excesses of our public servants? Since 1 or 2 other terrorist killed overseas were given honourable burials overseas, we need to ask whether Mas is really locked up. Too fantastic? What about the VIP nuclear terrorist who was only a virtual resident at Kamunting?

semuanya OK kot said...

It has been demonstrated throughout history, also in lab conditions (where the experiment had to be discontinued early) that people given physical power over others and authoritative roles become possessed by roles. This is why broadly justified laws, public inquiry, the destruction of barriers to information, and checks and balances on the executive are vital.

Those taking pot shots in support of ISA will of course not want to explain their stance on a law predicated on arbitary power, "emergencies" and "sensitive" issues.

GAMMA RAY said...




Anonymous said...

THere are talks that the Singapore Govt manage to convince Malaysia Govt to keep him in Malaysia so they can be interrogated in manners that is not allowed in Singapore. err remember Kugan? Look at how he was tortured during investigations.

Leithaisor said...

In a democracy, where the will of the people is paramount (as opposed to some fairy-tale despot autocratic banana-republic), if the rakyat collectively say "No" to the ISA, what should an honorable government do?

There have been countless outcries about the ISA being abused to ends which are indefensibl;e and untenable. One which remains indelible in my memory is the "detained for her own protection" case of Sinchew reporter Tan Hoon Chen".

Instead of hearing the loud protests, the UMNO-dominated BN government remains obstinate in dragging its feet. I think the furthest it has gone is a promise, stress "promise", of a review.And all manner of sandiwara and empty talk.

Instead of holding public hearings, forming a fairly representative commission to study the ISA and the call for its repeal, or having a referendum even if that is what the government deems needful, what exactly is the sum total of what the government has actually done? Nothing really.

Is it any wonder why there is mounting pressure for Najib & his government to be kicked out at the next General Elections?

Anonymous said...

To Anon who said 'THere are talks that the Singapore Govt manage to convince Malaysia Govt to keep him in Malaysia so they can be interrogated in manners that is not allowed in Singapore. err remember Kugan? Look at how he was tortured during investigations.'

Hello, Mat is of a different league than Kugan.

See some James Bond movies first and you will know how a guy wanted in one country will be 'hiding' in another country and helping it to 'sabotage' the country where he is wanted.

What is the guarantee that Mat is being 'interrogated' here and not being used for other purposes?


Anonymous said...

If people like Raja Petra and the reporter who is only doing her work can be detained under ISA, I know this ACT MUST BE A VERTY SICK & UNJUST ONE. Currently ISA is a very convenient tool of a ruling govt to keep ITSELF secure; not the country, not the citizens!!

zorro said...

The ISA is BN's magic wand or panacea that they can use at will. They will use it in the run up to GE13. Only a new government can abolish the ISA.

Amending ISA is mere cosmetic surgery. You do not amend anything unconstitutional. You abolish it.

Congrats Art on the award.

Genius of Geniuses said...

Sinatra Z says let's make it "less draconian".


Make it less draconian, but it STILL remains draconian! And illegal to top it off!

Sinatra Z, how did you become a Malaysian Insider columnist la?

You sound like a pre-university kid!


art for me your writings is always too idealistic , that's the problem and for somehow u must pick up a little bit realist in your writings..let say bout this article for me nothing so wrong for arrested mat selamat under isa, i'll give u basic example do you want to save burglar that want to break up ur neighbour house instead he is not intentionally want to break your house? for sure a normal people will hesitate to call police rite?so the same goes on our nation..it's the normal action i think..perhaps my thoughts is not basically on law but at least it is from my common sense rite? and i bet it is more realistic

Anonymous said...

Jom !
Bangkitlah !
Anak-anak bangsa Malaysia.

Please view the following videos.

1st video :-
We the people – Charlie Chaplin speech remix
~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQu_l0sZb8o

2nd video :-
The Great Dictator – speech
~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkGhSDrDBtw

The speech transcript from the clip is as below :-

“… I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor – that’s not my business – I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white(Anak-anak bangsa Malaysia). We all want to help one another, human beings are like that.
We all want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful.
But we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men’s souls –
has barricaded the world with hate;
has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.
We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in:
machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical,
our cleverness hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little:
More than machinery we need humanity;
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.
Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say “Do not despair”.
The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people , will return to the people and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish. . .
Soldiers(Anak-anak bangsa Malaysia) – don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you – who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder.
Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate – only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers(Anak-anak bangsa Malaysia) – don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty.
In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written
“the kingdom of God is within man ”
- not one man, nor a group of men – but in all men – in you, the people.
You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let’s use that power – let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfil their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.
Soldiers(Anak-anak bangsa Malaysia) – in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia

art harun said...

Encik Adam,

I tell things as they are. If that makes me an idealist, than so be it.

I am not advocating that criminals should be let off freely. By all means, arrest all of them, investigate and charge them in court. If found guilty, than please punish them.

On your neighbour example, under what law are you going to detain the guy who is planning the attack on the neighbour? If there was one law where you can arrest that guy, than go ahead. It's okay with me and in fact I want that to happen. But do it in accordance with the law and constitutional rights.

The ISA can only be used to protect our national interest. The question is, "is Mat Selamat and the 10 foreigners a threat to our national security?". If not, the their arrest and detention under our ISA is an abuse. Nothing more and nothing less.

If the law is followed regarding Mat Selamat, the following would happen. Malaysia arrested him. Singapore files extradition request. Court will decide whether to extradite or not. He cannot be sent here and there willy nilly because he is Indonesian and Indonesia is a sovereign state.

The same with the 10 foreigners.

I ask you, what would happen if Indonesia and the countries form which the 10 foreigners came now lodge a complain with the UN or ICJ over Malaysia's detention of their citizens?

yat said...

wutever, anti-terrorism ke, or modified ISA or call it the other name, one law should be used to be strict to terrorist, communist or racist, by all means, thorw Hidraf, perkasa, dong jiou zhong or any other race-based organisation into this type of law.....but hey, BN and PR are hypocrite as well, they need race to stay in power, my take is take less evil between those 2...

for art harun, the key word here is 'abused of power' not the act itself, geesshhhh....be realistic la....