Friday, November 30, 2007

ISA is the Choice of Citizens ?

It is hard for a small-time blogger like me to make a decision on such a question. Perhaps, I shall just agree with Nazri Aziz's statement in the Aljazeera Forum . He said "Malaysians are not stupid and will be able to decide for themselves". It is high time for this blog to prove his words as true. Without further ado, let's take a look at a few matters at hand.

Citizens Want ISA It Seems
It is hard for one to restrain oneself from writing a blog when this piece of news from Bernama is floating around the net: Government Will Impose ISA When Situation Warrants, Says Abdullah .
Some important excerpts from the article:
"The ISA is a preventive measure to spare the nation from untoward incidents that can harm the prevailing peace and harmony and create all sorts of adverse things.

"So, I don't know (when to invoke the ISA), but ISA will be there. When it is appropriate to use it, it will be used," Abdullah, who is also Internal Security Minister, told reporters on his return from a two-day visit to Egypt.

The Prime Minister was responding to reports that several street demonstrations would be held in the country soon.

Commenting on calls from the people urging the Government to invoke the ISA to tackle street demonstrations, the Prime Minister said: "I am very surprised that the people want the ISA. I thought they never wanted the ISA".

Questions abundant
Let me put it this way. I am as surprised as the Prime Minister himself when I read the last sentence above. I was in the state of confusion for a while. After some thoughts, perhaps it is best to ask a few questions to our Prime Minister in order to clear things up :

1) When you are talking about people wanting ISA a.k.a. The Detention-Without-Trial Act, which group are you referring to?
a) UMNO, MCA, MIC and BN people? or
b) Malaysian Commoners?

2) Please define properly, in unambiguous, official language on what is considered as "appropriate" for use? If certain races are marginalised and they only choose to submit a memorandum, would that be considered appropriate ? How about those that ask for electoral reforms and clean elections? Is it "appropriate" to use it on them?

3) Will ISA be executed on people who wield keris in meetings, asking when the keris would be used and expressing an interest to bathe it in someone's blood? Please do not tell the citizens that such actions and remarks are peaceful. Anyway, since Nazri had mentioned Malaysians are not stupid, I shall let them judge.

4) Is challenging or criticising the Prime Minister in one's written opinion liable for ISA as well? Citizens are concerned when certain people express words like "Saya Pantang Dicabar" ( I am Allergic to Challenge) in public.

5) Pak Lah, perhaps you should read the statements from Wikipedia on Internal Security Act . Allegedly, it mentioned what you spoke in 1988 and the year before on ISA being a draconian law. Is it true? Now you are saying you will use ISA. What is that supposed to mean, goodness gracious ?

Citizens Want Oppression ?
The defintion of "Draconian" according to Wiktionary :
Etymology: From the Athenian lawmaker Draco, known for making harsh laws.
Description: Very severe, oppressive or strict.
Example of usage: The despot chose a draconian punishment for the revolutionary. The Nazi regime was a draconian regime.

Meanwhile, a Malay progressive published an open letter in her blog titled "Dear PM Abdullah Badawi, Please Don't Follow Musharraf". As a Malay Muslim, she does not support the points mentioned in Hindraf's memorandum but she understands draconian law should never be executed in the name of democracy.

Furthermore, I would like to reiterate Nazri's statement ( Aljazeera Forum ) : "Malaysians are not stupid". I do not think Malaysians are stupid enough to support the implementation of an opressive law that will be imposed on themselves.

However, there could be some "smart" Malaysians who may want to impose such law on other Malaysians for a number of reasons beneficial to themselves, like free lunches etc.

Think about it.....

Maintenance of Peace and Harmony
There are many ways a government can maintain peace and harmony. Take for example, the previous Malaysian Indians rally in Malaysia.

For so many years, Malaysian Indians have been silent over their problems. They did not march or do anything of such massive proportions. The fact that they did it the other day signifies there are serious underlying issues concerning the society that should be addressed immediately.

In fact, it may already be a little too late. Still it is better late than never. If the government ( I would prefer to refer this to the Malaysian Indian Congress a.k.a. MIC ) intends to maintain an ambience of peace and harmony within the community, the leadership of MIC must answer their woes and explain thoroughly to the laymen Indians instead of condemning hard on those who have participated in the rally. Direct or indirect attempts to simply dismiss the rally as non-relevant will not make the people satisfied. MIC should also provide a blueprint on what is their long-term constructive plan to improve the livelihood and rights of the community. Temple demolition issues should be addressed. By right, all these actions should have been done earlier. Prevention is better than cure.

Using an oppressive law to curb dissent is definitely easier than all the efforts above. Members of Parliament should know that their tasks are not meant to be easy. MPs are supposed to be serving the community instead of placing full concentration on money-making only.

Problems should be solved from the root and not the symptoms. The logical outcome of utilising oppression on protesters will create a negative situation. When people choose not to protest, it could be out of fear of ISA. Intimidation using non-humanitarian laws or denial of social issues are equivalent to eliminating the symptoms of a critical disease. The absence of symptoms does not mean the absence of disease. Once the disease reaches the point of incurability, the protests may resume in bigger numbers when overwhelming anger and/or dissatisfaction supercedes fear.

From time to time, MIC MPs must speak to the commoners to understand and solve issues faced by the community. It is THE JOB of an MP. This is the only way to maintain peace, harmony and stability. Opression is not a permanent solution.

Indeed, somebody said the culture of protest is not the culture of Malaysians, especially Indians. I dare to bet protests are not even the first choice of Indians to highlight their problems. It is not the culture of human to feel happy being dismissed or their problems ignored for several times. Is it the culture of the MIC MP to listen and to seek to understand their community?

Ooops, I am sorry, that is supposed to be A JOB, not a culture. Did you do YOUR JOB well (to maintain peace and harmony), my dear MIC MPs? Ask yourselves.

In the meantime, Malaysiakini reports : More rallies in Kuala Lumpur next month (December 2007) .

Oppression is not an option in a democratic nation.

1 comment:

Scorpstar said...

They fear their own shadow, the past haunts them.

Read article UMNO sendiri lahir dari perhimpunan haram at

The ugly truth ....
Kalau sejarah 13 Mei yang dijadikan sandaran, ramai orang sudah tahu fakta sejarah bahawa yang menyebabkan peristiwa 13 Mei adalah kerana provokasi melampau dari penyokong-penyokong Umno dan faktor ketidakadilan sosial dan ekonomi pada masa tersebut.

"...ketidakadilan sosial" is what is happening now to the Indians in Malaysia. It's similar to apartheid in South in Africa.