I read with pride and renewed hope, the statement by Datuk Dr. S. Subramaniam, Human Resources Minister and MIC Secretary General, on the ISA arrests. Malaysiakini reported the statement as 'Another minister questions ISA dragnet', which I repost below for your convenience.
Finally, a senior MIC politician has come out strongly against something that is an insult to the laws of our country. I agree wholeheartedly with the learned doctor's view that every time the ISA is used, it only leads to perception that the government has something up its sleeve, and is trying to subdue someone, over and beyond recognized democratic means.
I also support one hundred percent, his call to Anwar to stop putting the entire nation on the line in his bid to grab power. Enough already! The people have given you a mandate to rule in five states. Show them what you can do by working for the people! Prove yourself! All this talk about defections and what not, only serves to destabilize the nation. Every time Anwar opens his mouth, the stock market plunges! Investors are moving their money out in record numbers! For the sake of the country and all Malaysians, let's stop all the politicking. It has been 150 days since the elections. Let's get own with business. Please don't risk the nation to satisfy your greed for power!
|Another minister questions ISA dragnet|
|Sep 14, 08 5:42pm|
|Every time someone is arrested under the Internal Security Act, it gives rise to a perception that the government is unable to charge and convict the person under existing laws, said Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam.|
"Do we need such a false perception?" asked the MIC secretary-general in a statement today.
Subramaniam said as a government sensitive to the feelings of the people, it cannot be blind to the fact that a significant proportion of the rakyat abhor the ISA and would prefer it not be used.
"We have adequate laws in the country to deal with all forms of errant, irresponsible, and dangerous behaviour. Why not use them?
"The prospect of a person being detained without a chance of being heard and to defend himself is against the grains of present day popular belief," he added.
On Friday, the police detained controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, DAP MP Teresa Kok and Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng under the security law which provides for detention without trial.
Tan, who penned the report regarding the derogatory remarks made by Umno leader Ahmad Ismail regarding the Chinese community, was released yesterday afternoon.
Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar subsequently said that she was arrested in order to ensure her "personal safety".
Situation causing anxiety
Meanwhile, Subramaniam said the present political situation in the country has caused a lot of anxiety and worry for the people irrespective of race.
"There is an urgent need for everyone irrespective of political backgrounds and ideologies to be acutely aware of the situation and behave responsibly.
"Freedom has to be used responsibly, in order to achieve its full potential. Unbridled freedom in the hands of the irresponsible can lead to anarchy and lead to the demise of the very institution of productive freedom," he said.
"Bloggers like Raja Petra must realise that they cannot use the pathways of freedom available in the cyberworld to insight, provoke and humiliate others without the risk of punitive action being taken against them. Blogging has to become responsible," he added.
Likewise, he said, politicians like Ahmad Ismail should realise that the campaign platforms of a by-election cannot be used to question the rights of any group which has been enshrined in the federal constitution.
"The children of the migrants of yesteryears have done no sin for their fundamental rights to be so questioned and they be decreed to the level of second-class citizens.
"We would have expected that after 50 years of independence we would have overgrown such suspicions and be capable of acting with a greater degree of maturity," he added.
Subramaniam also ticked off Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim for trying to "pawn" the entire nation to satisfy his obsession of wanting to become the prime minister.
"The people are fed up of all his antics to destabilise the democratically-elected government by unlawful and questionable means.
"Although there is very little chance of him succeeding in his attempts but the effects of these actions on the daily lives of the people and the economy of the country cannot be denied. He and his supporters should stop such antics immediately," he added.
On the contrary, the minister suggested that opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat concentrate on administering the states under their control whilst allowing the BN to continue with the task of running the federal government and the states under it’s control.
"He (Anwar) should wait for the next general election to decide whether he could be the prime minister of the country," said Subramaniam.
Anwar, who returned to Parliament after a 10-year absence, has promised to launch a political coup with defections from the ruling coalition.