Najib announces repeal of ISA, three emergency declarations
Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced tonight the repeal of the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) and the three Emergency Declarations when both the Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat have their next sitting.
The prime minister said that new laws will be enacted to protect the peace, harmony and security of the country.
He also announced that the government will do away with annual printing and publishing permits with permits that can be cancelled if regulations are flouted.
Najib acknowledged in his address to the nation on the eve of Malaysia Day that the move to increase civil liberties was “risky, but we are doing this for our survival.”
“No individual will ever be detained simply due to political ideology,” he said in his speech that was broadcast live on all local television stations.
The move to scrap the law has been hailed by ex-ISA detainee and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng as “an epochal move.”
The Barisan Nasional (BN) chief said that two new security laws would be introduced for preventive detention which would be limited only to cases of terrorism and “ensure that basic human rights are protected.”
Najib said that under the new laws, detentions could only be extended by the court and therefore “the power of detention will be shifted from the executive to the judiciary, unless it concerns terrorism.”
Before a studio audience of 800 including his entire Cabinet, he also announced that the Banishment Act would be repealed while he will do away with the need for annual publishing permits under the Printing Presses and ations Act (PPPA).
I once said before that it takes a disaster for the country to realize its mistakes. And by the time they realized that there's the need of having a reform, it is already far overdue already. For instance, when Bersih 2.0 decided to launch it's campaign to make a statement to the government of the necessity of election reforms, many - especially the government's butter-up boys do not really believe in their claims and instead, misguided by the MSM papers including Utusan were made to believe that they are about to start another 13 May 1969 incident.
And that allegation came unfounded. But it is only after they noticed that 1700 people arrested and how the cops handled the situation, with the directive from they themselves, they realized of the terrible mistake that they have committed. They only then also realized that they cheated themselves into believing that there was to be another riots or so. They didn't even trust themselves, like a dog being duped by it's own reflection on the pool..and so decided to embark on the reforming thing that they've spewed out on the news.
The ISA abolishment was also another thing overdue. When the anti-ISA movement decided to protest in the streets August last year (that's to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its inception), the government refused to believed in that thing and the GMI's demands, thinking they can handled on their own terms. Scores of people arrested, roadblocks here and there, well of course I've kept some pictures as to remember that incident. With more and more people pressuring the government, it became imminent and evident that even amending the ISA is totally impossible. But it took more than 20 years since the cession of arms against Malaysia by the CPM to realize that ISA is already irrelevant.
Many people still do not understand why ISA has to go and in fact some people including those in Perkasa think that ISA is still needed for something that is illogical like Malay rights. However, many are not aware that there's no such thing as abolishing ISA without something to compensate, right? With the specter of 9/11 around us, of course there has to be something to replace it and of course people have proposed a new Anti-Terrorism bill in its place. As what Nazri said, the bill is for real terrorism. This missing piece of information is one of the causes of bro ha has that foam in the mouths of those people who complained about removing ISA.
With people getting angry over the EO6 episode, what is much more necessary of putting the EO 1948 off coupled with the close to the 80 year old Restricted Residences (a.k.a Banishment) act for good? What...applying a more than 60 year old laws into the 21st century scenario? Somewhat doesn't fit like big engines into a small car?
Connecting the dot from that above is the official end of three declarations of emergency. I suppose that many people and politicians have forgotten about it, with many assuming that the 1989 ceasefire automatically ends it, but there were no proclamations until 22 years later where they finally realized that they have overlooked that matter. It took lawyers and civil movement pressure to get them to come into their senses.
In spite of all that, there are still things neither never mentioned or partially mentioned that raises questions from other quarters. For instance, the publications permit - whether it can be challenged in court after the annual renewal condition is removed. However, people still bash Pornstar Chua over the need of having online publication permit - this guy is one hell of a jester in this point. Talk about another Rais Yatim thing that is.
I am bit unclear about this amendment to the notorious Section 27 of the Police Act. Demos usually happen if whatever statements that is to be sent out are totally ignored by the government of the day, so generally it is theirs to be blamed. Bersih rally happened because of government ignorance, otherwise how would those unnecessary police ruckus happened on that day? I would definitely would want to see and read more of the amendment ideas before talking more.
Unfortunately, the AUKU 1971 act was never mentioned and this has raised dire questions from university students who felt the need to have more active participation in the present issues. They were asking "what about AUKU". Sedition Act remains one of the archaic laws that has yet to be asked then.
I look at some of the statements and thoughts by other people in regards of this in online avenues. Some good, some disagreed but I have the thought that this could be one something else that motivates the reason of Najib Razak doing such thing, that would be discussed later. Since these things are to be brought forward to the Parliament when it reconvenes next month, I have the feeling that it could be well opposed by some of the MPs in his front, who are also UMNO warlords and those who have a different opinion of his statements. If most of the Cabinet ministers were in the studio where he made the statement, it's likely that most of them have already agreed to follow the ship's directions, albeit a few, probably.
Ibrahim Ali has also been making noises but when the government finally realizes their mistakes and started doing things, he has been quiet over this subject or so. It's my gut feeling that he could be making noises tomorrow to show his disagreement over what Najib would say.
Anyhow, it's about time, too long already.