Sunday, September 21, 2008

Call for ISA to be reviewed and repealed-Gerakan

GEORGE TOWN (Sept 21, 2008) : Gerakan has called on the government to set up a parliamentary select committee to review all aspects regarding the Internal Security Act (ISA).Party acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said the study was crucial in view of the differences of opinions as to whether the ISA should be amended, repealed or retained.

"It is better to set up a parliamentary select committee like other committees established to study particular issues. It will be a reasonable democratic process and, with it, we can come out with a more comprehensive finding with regard to the ISA," he told reporters after opening Penang Gerakan Delegates Conference here today.

Koh said the ISA would become better if a parliamentary select committee were to discuss the important aspects contained in it. "Besides, the anger and anxiety felt by the people can also be contained."On Gerakan's future in Barisan Nasional (BN), he said the party was in the process of gathering feedback from its members and would not set any deadline to decide on it.

He said many matters had to be scrutinised, including whether party members would still support BN if Gerakan remained in the coalition and if Gerakan left the coalitian, would they still support the party."We are gathering feedback from the grassroots and if necessary, we will call an extraordinary general meeting," he said, reports Bernama.

Meanwhile, in KUALA LUMPUR, 18 DAP members shaved their head bald to protest the detention of webmaster Raja Petra Kamarudin and all other ISA detainees."We want the ISA repealed and all ISA detainees freed," said Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng who led the gathering of about 100 members.

Also present was Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San. The protesters, aged between 11 and 61, including women, gathered at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly hall at 10.30am and took turns to lose their their "crowning glory".

Describing the 18 participants as "defenders of justice", DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang said 10 years ago a similar vow was carried out at the same venue when his son and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was jailed under the Sedition Act."We are here to demonstrate and object the use of ISA and to demand the release of ISA detainees especially the country's No. 1 cyber warrior Raja Petra." he said in his speech.

Lip Eng said he has sent a letter to Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar to adhere to the a statement made by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) urging the government to review the ISA.Referring to a news report dated Sept 16, he said Suhakam had found the ISA as an outdated law and it's use was a breach of human rights.

"We urge the Home Minister to take heed of Suhakam's findings as on April 24, 1999, it was he who had announced that the government was ready to form the commission. Hence, Suhakam is his baby and he should pay attention to what they have to say," he said.

Among those present at the event was Seputeh MP Teresa Kok who was released on Friday a week after being held under the ISA, Raja Petra's wife Marina Lee Abdullah, Kelana Jaya MP Low Gwo Burne and several other DAP MP's.
Updated: 05:57PM Sun, 21 Sep 2008

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