Monday, April 28, 2008

Nizar, Guan Eng call for end to preventive laws - The Star

IPOH: April 28, 2008

Two Pakatan Rakyat state leaders have called for the abolition of the Internal Security Act (ISA).

While Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said certain provisions Act at least needed to be reviewed if not repealed, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng went step further, asking for the Official Secrets Acts (OSA) to be done away with as well.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar had on Saturday said that preventive laws, including the ISA, would not be abolished.

Commenting on a claim by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that Pakatan Rakyat would abolish preventive laws should it rule the country, Syed Hamid had said that such laws serve the purpose of maintaining public order.

Lim said he regretted Syed Hamid's decision.

“The fact that you have the ISA and OSA (shows that) you want to frighten the people,” he told a press conference at the Mount Miriam Hospital “Ho Chiak” Charity Food and Fun Fair in Penang yesterday.

“Of course, you cannot frighten political leaders, especially those who have been held under the ISA before,” he added.

Nizar noted that the ISA detention camp was in Kamunting, Perak, and as the new mentri besar he had to answer to the families of the detainees.

“Most definitely the parents and other family members to the more than 80 detainees would come to me and ask what is happening there,” he said in his speech at the Tow Boo Keong temple.

“Please, if there is any room for review over the provisions in the act, do it. Or abolish the ISA completely.”

Nizar added that at the very least the detainees should be given the opportunity to interact with their lawyers and allow their cases to be tried in court.

“Now, they are detained without trial. This is not justice,” he said.

Nizar revealed that he had first broached the matter with the Prime Minister during their first hour-long meeting on April 18, adding that he was the first mentri besar to do so.

In TAIPING, a group gathered in front of the Kamunting detention centre at 5.45pm pressing for the release of all ISA detainees.

Hindraf coordinator S. Jeyathas told reporters that the ISA should be abolished and he hoped newly-elected MPs would look into the matter

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