Can we have a date? Yes! Let's mark on your calendar.
Date : 1st August 2009 (Saturday)
Time : 2 pm
Venue : Kuala Lumpur (your choice of SOGO, Masjid Jamek or Masjid Negara)
What? How do we know each other? The last I heard is we should be wearing red and black. But for final confirmation, please wait for further announcement here or here.
Now for the why? It is to send a petition to YDP Agung to abolish ISA. You see, ISA (Internal Security Act) was first introduced on 1st August 1960. So, this is a birthday celebration of sorts. However, instead of celebrating, the gathering is aimed at highlighting why the act needs to be abolish. Actually this act was first introduce as deterrence during the emergency way back in 1960. 1960? Yes, that was 49 years ago. You may consider this as a archaic law.
Another reason is that the act has been seen to be cruel where those detained under ISA can be detained for a period of 2 years without trial. Not only that, ISA can be renewed for another 2 years, subject to Minister of Internal Affairs' discretion. Amongst the 15 or so ISA detainees in Kamunting, Perak, one of them will be spending his 8th year there and has never been formally charged in open court. When will the government charged him? Even if the Government has a case against him, I wonder how many witness can still remember events 8 years ago? Maybe you can, but certainly not me...
Who will attend the gathering? Frankly, I do not know. The only thing I know is that there will be some political parties such as PKR, PAS,DAP and Gerakan youth. There will also be a group of participating NGO's and of course, the most important participant will be you! The organiser is aiming to gather 50,000 to march towards the Istana Negara. It is said that the organiser has sent a letter to the palace seeking permission and appointment to submit their memorandum.
Whether you are for or against the abolishment of ISA does not matter. What matters is the basic principle ie if there is any wrongdoing then charge the person in court. Deterrence? Fine, maybe the act has not been done and only come to the preparatory and planning stage. Charge them in court for planning to disrupt our harmony.
From thereon, let me split my way. I did not support the abolishment of ISA. I only support for ISA to be reviewed. In 1960's, Malaysia is faced with emergency rule. Back then, we have no other viable option but to detain suspects up to 2 years. Now, we are no longer under emergency rule. Our police force are supposed to be amongst the best well trained force in the world.
Looking through the list of existing ISA detainees, I saw foreigners amongst the group. What are their crimes? Are they planning to sabotage Malaysia? If so, how? Can we have the charges, please?
What about Malaysians? What are their charges? Are they communists? If so, when do we have communists in our midst when PKM has signed an agreement with Malaysian government to cease all forms of hostility against Malaysia?
If they are not communists, then who are they? Can we have the charges and the accusations? Do they conceal weapons to start a bloody revolution? Where are the weapons now? Are they missionaries? If so, where do they go wrong with their teachings?
The government has repeatedly mention that they will review ISA. When will the government review the law? Where are the ammendments? Has it beed distributed for discussions in Parliament? If not, why? Are we going to hear the tabling of ammendments before 2011?
Is Malaysia going to charge the present crop of ISA detainees? When are they going to be charged? When is the trial?
What I don't understand - what is the difference between ISA detainees and convicts? Why do we separate ISA detainees when the government do not have any charges? Is the Minister happy to hold that "power" to detain people without trial? 2 years, maybe...8 years? Imagine you being separated from your loved one for 8 years, what will you do? Will you be broken?
As I said earlier, I may not be supporting the total abolishment of ISA but I shall be in Kuala Lumpur on 1st August to lend my support. And my support is to review ISA and to charge the existing ISA detainees. And if the government has no chargesheets, then release all the ISA detainees. Let them return to their families. Once the government has enough proofs, then charge them in court...
I know, god willing, I shall be in KL on 1st August 2009...will you?
Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...