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Government Has No Plan To Review ISA At The Moment, so says PM on Saturday afternoon, 18th October 2008.
The Malaysian government has no plan to review the Internal Security Act (ISA), at least for the moment, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi said today.
He said the law was still being used and there was no discussion pertaining to its status as yet.
He said the ISA was still relevant in today's context, and that even many other countries were also enacting similar laws now for security reasons.
"ISA is not legislation that cannot be applied. Such legislation is also applied by other countries.
"Countries which do not have the ISA now feel that it is proper to have such legislation, countries such as the United States and England," he said.
He said it was important to exercise caution in executing the law. "There has been no element of abuse of power," he said.
On the call from various quarters, including political parties, for the government to release all ISA detainees, Abdullah said the matter was under the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry.
"I have no other comments. He (Home Minister, Hamid Albar) understands the situation better, whether to release or continue with their detention," he said.
When asked if it was timely for such a move considering that he was embarking on a reform platform, Abdullah answered:
"So what? Reform is reform, law is law. Detainees are detainees. Reform does not mean we want to reform everything, everything in the law, undoing offences."
The ISA, which allows for indefinite detention without trial, has long been the subject of controversy, this was highlighted recently when several people, including a newspaper reporter, an MP and and blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin were detained under the draconian Act.
In reality, the ISA was formulated to combat armed terrorists and insurgents at the time Malaysia was under the period of confrontation from the communist threat; it is undoubtedly now being misused to oppress and to silence political opposition.
Corruptisima re publica plurimae leges
In the most corrupt state are the most laws