|Sep 21, 08 4:37pm|
|The government has been urged to establish a parliamentary select committee to review all aspects regarding the Internal Security Act (ISA).
This call however did not come from any of the opposition parties, but from senior Barisan Nasional coalition member Gerakan.
It must be noted that Gerakan has for long been a vocal critic of the detention without trial legislation, which is a left-over from the colonial era.
According to a Bernama report today, Gerakan acting president Dr Koh Tsu Koon said that the study was crucial in view of the differences of opinions as to whether the Act should be amended, repealed or retained.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 said.
He added that the preventive law would become better if a parliamentary select committee were to discuss the important aspects contained in it.
He also said that such a parliamentary study could also help assuage the anger and anxiety felt by the people over the use of the Act.
Feedback on role in BN
“We are gathering feedbacks from the grassroots and if necessary, we will call an extraordinary general meeting,” he said.
Gerakan leaders and members have been urging the party to cut all ties with the BN over the dominant and increasingly racial role played by Umno, the main player of the coalition.
In another matter, Koh was replaced as the Penang Gerakan chairperson by party vice president Dr Teng Hock Nan, 63.
He was elected to the post today at the delegates’ conference of Penang Gerakan today. Koh did defend the position.
Teng secured 166 votes to beat Gerakan secretary-general Chia Kwang Chye who polled 156 votes and Bukit Gelugor division head Cheang Chee Gooi who obtained 21 votes.
Koh did not contest because he wanted to focus on party work at the national level.
Meanwhile, the six people who were elected Penang Gerakan committee members were Ong Thean Lye (290 votes), Teh Leong Meng (275 votes), Lim Boon Ben (250 votes), Teoh Hang Chong (239 votes), A Mohan (220 votes) dan Lim Kean Guan (218 votes).
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