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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

‘New laws could be worse than ISA’

Sulaiman Kamal | 4:35 PM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Is the repeal of the ISA 'window-dressing' for an embattled BN ahead of the general election?
KOTA KINABALU: Scepticisms abound in Sabah over the repeal of the much-condemned Internal Security Act (ISA).
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had announced on Sept 16 that the government would abolish the draconian law.
While the announcement came as a shock, as many had expected some good news related to consumer goodies in view of the general election, it was nevertheless much welcomed.
However, criticisms have since arisen after the govenment came back with a statement that two new enactments would be tabled in Parliament to replace the controversial ISA.
Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has joined the long list of sceptics.

Speaking to FMT, SAPP supreme council member Peter Marinjin said: “We hope the repeal (of the ISA and other draconian laws) are genuine and not just window-dressing for the already embattled Barisan Nasional ahead of the impending general election.
“It (the impact), however, remains to be seen. For now we are sceptical about the whole thing.”
Marinjin reminded Sabahans that BN had a track record of sloganeerings and making pledges, but was short on delivering real changes that promoted the rule of law and true democratic practices.
While he lauded Najib’s announcement, he said it was pointless getting “too excited” about the repeal of the ISA.
“Since it’s going to replaced by two other laws, there’s no reason to get too excited.
“We want to examine the new laws replacing the ISA first. It could be worse than the ISA.
“I feel the excitement is still too premature… the enactments have not yet made it to Parliament where every MP is given the opportunity to vote for the repeal of the law.”
Marinjin, who is a lawyer, said Sabah has had its own share of skirmishes with the ISA, which provides for indefinite detention without trial.
Foremost on the list of ISA victims is Jeffrey Kitingan.
Jeffrey was detained for about three years under the law in the 1990s, purportedly for attempting to secede Sabah from Malaysia.

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