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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

ISA on Bloggers- A Cover-Up Of Corruption?

The following is a statement issued by the Chairman of anti-ISA Movement, Syed Ibrahim

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI), a coalition of 83 non-governmental organizations, trade unions and political parties, expresses our condemnation on a series of threats by government minister and the United Malays National Organizational (UMNO) to use the Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows for indefinite detention without trial, against bloggers.

On July 8, a Supreme Council member of the UMNO, Norza Zakaria called on the government to take action against bloggers who are insulting government leaders. On July 25, following the police report of UMNO Information Chief Muhammad Muhammad Taib against the webmaster of Malaysia Today Raja Petra, Minister in Prime Ministers Department, Nazri Aziz said that "the government would not hesitate to use the Internal Security Act against bloggers. On the same day, UMNO Youth Public Complaints Bureau chief Subahan Kamal made a statement that people who write sensitive issues insulting the King and Islam should be severely punished under the ISA.

GMI believes these threats of using the ISA are none other than abuse of powers, as illustrated in the past, against dissidents who have exposed corruption practices within the government. Firstly, shouldn't the government investigate the alleged corruption of civil servants and politicians involved instead of going after the whistle blowers? Secondly, shouldn't the government investigate the author of the alleged law breaching postings in the blogs of Nathaniel Tan and Raja Petra instead of harassing the blog owners as in the case of four-day detention of Nathaniel Tan and long hour interrogation as in the case of Raja Petra? Does the government afraid that the author of these postings may well turn out to be coming from the cyber troops of UMNO as alleged by Raja Petra?

Furthermore, there are ample laws in the country for the government to prosecute these authors of postings and prove the charges in the court of law, if they are deemed to be breaching the law. Why the government is avoiding the court process? Does the government know too well that they don't even stand a chance if the matter were to be brought to court? Or the government is more worried that more washing dirty linen of the government in the public would be taking place if these bloggers were to be openly charged in court?

The government owes the general public an answer to the above questions. By invoking the ISA, the government is not only taking an easy way out, it also proves that the government has something to hide and the ISA is conveniently used to do the cover-up and create white terror to silent bloggers and public members from asking pertinent questions regarding corruption of high ranking government ministers and officials.

The fight against corruption in this country cannot be successful as long as the ISA continues to exist for the rulers to invoke to silent whistle blowers and cover-up mismanagement and abuse of powers.

GMI calls for the abolishment of the ISA and all forms of detention without trial. If the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government is sincere in fighting corruption, he should abolish the ISA as recommended by the National Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) immediately.

Abolish ISA!

Release All The Detainees!

Close Down KEMTA!


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