Immediate Media Release: 17 November 2011
Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemn the police and the Malaysian government for arresting 11 people from Tawau under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA). According to our source, the actual number of individuals arrested is most likely 14 persons.
This heinous act is regrettable because it contradicts with the announcement of the Prime Minister of Malaysia on 15 September in respect of the repeal of the ISA. What is the rationale behind the detention? Is the Prime Minister of Malaysia trying to fool the people of Malaysia with his hypocritical attitude? The PM should be ashamed of this arrest!
According to our sources, the allegations against 11 individuals remain unclear and it is believed that they are associated with terrorism. Here are the names of the detained under the ISA on the 14th and 15th day of November 2011 (not official):
Mohd Nazri Bin Dollah
Religious teacher at SMK Kinabutan
Yusof Bin Saripuddin
Muhd Adnan Bin Umar
Teacher at MJU Tuition Centre
Muhd Abduh Bin Umar
Faizal Bin Hamma
Joni @ Muadz
Darto Bin Bandu
Teacher at MJU Tuition Centre
Bakar Bin Baba
Teacher at SMK Umas-umas
The arrest was conducted by police officers from the Department of Special Task Force (Operation Counter Terrorism) Bukit Aman headed by DSP Azman bin Omar. Family/next of kin of the individuals arrested were informed a day later that the arrest is under Section 73(1) AKDN 1960 (ISA).
Arrest without warrant, without notice or informing spouses and children is too tragic. The conduct of the arrest is comparable to a robbery as the police officers were well-armed and seized several laptops and a sum of cash.
BN Cannot Live Without ISA
The new detentions confirm the doubts among Malaysians with regards to this repeal. Now it is proven that the announcement of the repeal is insincere and merely for Najib’s political interests. ISA is a cruel act that allows for detention without trial, which contradicts with fundamental human rights principles.
The UMNO/BN government has indicated that it cannot sustain itself without the ISA. The UMNO/BN-led government requires a political tool to stay in power and create fear among Malaysians. The ongoing use of ISA has given a blow to the BN’s credibility for the next election as it still maintains the habit of cheating people by using the ISA on a confidential basis.
Abolish ISA Now!
We would also like to remind the Prime Minister that over the past few decades, thousands of people were detained without trial under the ISA not for what they did or said, but based on anonymous and often false accusations from third parties. People have been locked up for crimes that were not proven in a court of law and thousands were left to anguish in secret detention cells around the country over an indefinite period of time.
As such, SUARAM and GMI call upon the Prime Minister to abolish the Internal Security Act and release all the detainees while the abolition is pending. We also call upon the government to stop legislating laws which allows detention without trial and to deal the terrorism issues with the existing laws.
Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh