Keep your ‘ISA’ word, Najib told

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of 30 activists today demanded Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to keep his promise to do away with the infamous Internal Security Act.

The group, led by Gerakan Mansuh ISA (GMI), expressed disappointment that Najib had yet to dismantle the legislation, which provided for detention without trial.

“I am expecting to hear the government’s response. When is ISA going to be repealed?

“When are the new laws going to be tabled?” asked GMI chairman Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh when met by reporters before marching from the Lake Garden to Parliament this morning.

Last September, Najib announced that the ISA would be repealed and replaced with two new laws.

In November, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that the new bills would include detention without trial. One of the two bills was related to counter-terrorism.

Syed Ibrahim also opposed the plan for the two bills since it would include provisions for detention without trial.

According to him, there were currently 50 people being held under ISA at the Kamunting Detention Camp in Perak.

He also criticised the government for not holding a public consultation with regard to the new laws.

In view of this, GMI outlined six demands, which included the immediate repeal of ISA as well as the Emergency Ordinance and Dangerous Drugs Act, which also allowed for detention without trial.

GMI also wanted the government to scrap any new laws that defended detention without trial.

The group also wanted the government to form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to allow detainees to seek justice.

The activists also called for a “true public consultation” and for the Kamunting camp to be closed down and turned into a heritage site.

GMI also wanted the government to pay compensation to all those who had been victimised by ISA.

The movement also called upon the government to adhere and ratify the United Nations conventions – namely the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Memo handed to Anwar

In Parliament, Syed Ibrahim and five others were accompanied by Pakatan Rakyat MPs to hand over a memorandum to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

However, there were no representatives from the government’s side to receive the memorandum.

Anwar, who promised to put forth a private member’s bill in Parliament tomorrow, added that he would forward a copy of the memorandum to Najib’s office.

The five who accompanied Syed Ibrahim were Norlaila Othman, who represented famillies of ISA detainees, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri of Suaram, student rep Mohd Shahid Mohd Zaini, A Sivaranjani of Oppressed People’s Network (Jerit) and Ng Yap Hwa from a NGO known as LLG.

The Pakatan MPs were Subang MP R Sivarasa, Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh, Gopeng MP Lee Boon Chye and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar of PKR,Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong of DAP and Sungai Siput MP Dr D Michael Jeyakumar.

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