Monday, February 23, 2009

Deputy IGP: ISA still relevant

"The Internal Security Act (ISA) is still relevant to curb threats to the country’s security and economy but it is not meant to oppress anyone, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said." (The Star 22 Feb 2009)

"People who organise revolution usually plan to take over the government as well through personal ambition."

No, that second paragraph was spoken by a judge in sentencing the guilty one to life imprisonment. After all, the guilty one did admit saying "I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people......."

Raja Petra Kamaruddin, or better known by his initials RPK, is certainly not guilty of planning anything like the guilty one I have just referred to.

According to the complaint made by the Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar RPK is supposed to have promoted the insult of Islam referring particularly to an article he published under his "NO Holds Barred" column.

I have read that piece. Yes RPK went full blast. But anyone with a meager primary school English education would be able to tell you, and I am certain even with his sworn lack of English, Mohammad Mohammad Taib would, if he allowed candour to take over, that that article was critical of Muslims. The followers of Islam. How that then equals Islam, I really don't know. And even then it was targeted at all those hypocritical and corrupt Muslims who, by the very definition of who Muslims are, might not exactly fit that definition.

I used to hate "Comprehension" during English classes. Never really could understand what exactly I was supposed to look for. I scored poorly. One would say that I was even incompetent.
A mistake of this order where the criticism was of miscreant Muslims and not Islam. A mistake that completely misses the object matter of the article and now places the author's life and freedom in jeopardy would have got me an "f" and I reckon my English teacher, Mr Amoz, would have probably hauled me up for some stern ticking off.

But that is it. Syed Hamid Albar has chosen to stand on the position that the object matter of the article was Islam. Not miscreant Muslims. He has been vested powers and authority by the Internal Security Act to detain anyone he thinks can be a threat to security. And he has determined and satisfied himself that RPK's article and RPK himself are a threat to security qualifying him for ISA detention without trial.

The ISA unfortunately by its very omission assumes a number of things about the Home Minister. That at the time of him acting out his authority and power given to him under the act, that he is sane and that he is competent and that there is rationale in the reasons for his actions.

I am only going to go to the last time this Home Minister employed these powers. That day on the 12th September when he detained first RPK, then the reporter from Sin Chew and then Theresa Kok the DAP MP.

To let the reporter out in under 24 hours and later Theresa Kok and to say that they were only detained for their protection shows nothing but incompetence. If really they needed to be protected, there are such things as safe houses and 5 star hotels.

To continue with RPK's detention for the reasons stated earlier shows failure in comprehension. That is incompetence. One mistake is excusable. Three in one day? That is insane. As for rationale, there is absolutely none at all. He has violated the very act that gave him those powers.

Unfortunately, there are judges in this country who will uphold the actions of this Home Minister. I suppose they will save their conscience from guilt by not bothering to ask any more questions than only examining processes and procedures. Like if the Home Minister has correctly signed the requisite orders and dated them even. What about hose assumptions that I sated earlier? Sure, they are not there in the act. But isn't it rationale to expect that the Home Minister was sanguine, was competent, was sane was, rationale, had no personal interest and so on?

I am not a lawyer. I fail to understand how lawyers really work. I fail to understand why even RPK's defense lawyers ignore asking these questions. I probably would have failed as a lawyer if I had taken up that profession as I get myself and allow myself to get worked up by these "irrelevant" questions. I suppose the law is as is. As it is stated. And that is probably also why, as they say, the law is an ass!! Maybe because when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me, assumptions are not allowed. So they say the Home minister got the powers, you just take that he has the powers. You just take it that he is competent. And sane. And rational. It does not matter that the actions are insane, incompetent and irrational.

That guilty one I spoke of in the opening paragraphs! Now, that was Nelson Mandela! Of course, he was guilty of what he was charged for. He went against the laws and the one with the power correctly charged him and had him imprisoned him. I would just like to talk to the prosecutors, the politicians and the judges of that time. What they think of it now! What they think of themselves now! President Quartus de Wet! That was the name of the judge. He was the one who said what I quoted earlier. Would I be permitted to say that he was a bloody fool? Well, considering that Malaysia now is a great fan of South Africa and Nelson Mandela, I guess it wouldn't be too difficult to get everyone going " Quartus de Wet is a bloody fool!!

Now how about Syed Hamid Albar? And how about Augustine Paul? How about any other judges who are going to be judging on RPK's matter?

Maybe these judges can explain to me how flawed the laws, the prosecution, the judgment and the judges in the Nelson Mandela case were when compared to Malaysia's ISA, prosecution and judgment? Maybe these judges and the government can explain to me what it was that was lacking or depraved in the laws, the prosecution and the judgment that put Mahatma Gandhi in jail so many times in both South Africa as well as in India? If you are unable to because they are no different from the ISA, then please refrain from holding out Gandhi as a symbol to anything.

Supposedly the ISA is not to oppress anyone. Suppress then? Maybe the Deputy IGP can explain to me what competent set of circumstances brought about the ISA arrests of the three last September!


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