Monday September 22, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR: Political leaders and non-governmental organisations have voiced their disagreement over the Government’s stand not to review the Internal Security Act.
MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar’s statement that the ISA was not going to be reviewed was in complete disregard for public opinion.
“I feel the Government should not just brush these comments aside. Instead, it should do the right thing by considering whether there is still a need for such an Act,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Dr Fong called on the Government to repeal or review the Act, saying it was “totally irrelevant in the modern age.”
Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon called for the setting up of a Parliament select committee to review the ISA.
He said the committee would be able to take into account all the different views on the ISA.
“There are many views on the ISA €“ whether it should be abolished, amended or maintained.
This committee will be able to study all aspects of the Act,” he told a press conference after speaking at the state Gerakan delegates’ conference at the Gerakan Headquarters in George Town.
Gerakan vice-president Datuk Chang Ko Youn said the ISA had outlived its purpose and was no longer relevant in the 21st century,
He said the ISA was originally created to prevent and curb violence and had its purpose in the 1960s and 70s.
“But in the last 30 years, we have seen it used for reasons it was never intended for on those suspected of falsifying identity cards and printing counterfeit currency notes,” Chang told reporters after handing out scholarships to children of Gerakan members in Ipoh yesterday.
He said Gerakan was of the view that the ISA should be replaced with a new Act limited to preventing terrorism.