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Malaysia-in-progress – 15th Sep 2008 / Monday

In Malaysia on September 15, 2008 at 7:41 pm


  • Law Minister of Malaysia just resigned over inappropriate use of ISA laws on Malaysian civilians.

UPDATE: Badawi has refused to accept Zaid Ibrahim’s resignation – 10.00pm today

  • One of the detainees, Raja Petra Karmaruddin, is on a hunger strike. Due to his medical condition, this might be fatal. Haris Ibrahim, a blogger, is raising the issue and asking for assistance.
  • Detainees, Teresa Kok and Raja Petra, and their lawyers have filed for habeas corpus.

My thoughts:

  • For background info in my posts on ISA, please click tag (bottom of page): “Suppression under ISA“.
  • Zaid Ibrahim, as Minister of Law, has taken a principled decision to leave our government. He should be applauded because that must have been agonising – can he make a difference whilst on the inside or should he leave to make a louder one-off protest – but then lose all internal decision-making influence within the Cabinet.
  • Zaid’s resignation, and the whole saga of using ISA by our government, is gaining traction in international news. And that’s good because now our ministers will have to face the rest of the world and explain why, as politicians, the do NOT make decisions – except our Minister of Law.
  • Final point: Was he not consulted? Why does he hold the portfolio? Does Badawi’s Cabinet even know what is Zaid Ibrahim’s role in the government?
  • Raja Petra’s hunger strike is no doubt dangerous. Maybe lawyers for Raja Petra can get the International/Malaysian Red Cross to check / visit him. Again, check out People’s Parliament here.
  • Habeas corpus is a legal procedure that forces our government to answer to our judiciary, ie. Government vs Judiciary. It can go either way, judges might not get their time of day or, even if its heard, our government might still get away with it – see Hindraf case. Read the Bar Council’s website for new developments
  • NOTE: Karpal Singh mentioned in the Al-Jazeera video .. floating around our blogosphere – ISA laws does not allow anyone to challenge the purpose of detention under ISA, only procedurally – which is real morbid stuff.

I share everyone’s relief on Tan Hoon Cheng’s release, and she has written a short article, ‘My 18 hours under the Internal Security Act‘. She is one brave girl, oops, woman. Ok, journalist. Good on her to stand up and be counted. Here’s a short quote by her:

I realise that our journey is still full with challenges and obstacles, so we have to continue the same righteous spirit and courage that we have all shown this time! Our society needs this spirit, to build a better tomorrow.

I have finally been freed, but I hope Teresa Kok and Raja Petra Kamaruddin and all those detainees under the Internal Security Act, could be released as soon as as possible. If the authorities think that they have broken the law, they should brought to the court of law to receive transparent and fair trials.

I’d like to add, the police officers who did the arrest are also Malaysians, and we shouldn’t vilify them Also, they were doing what they were paid to do – their job.

  1. […] claimed, as a politician, he should not make this decision. I’ve blogged about this here and here and here. But it does not change the fact that Raja Petra will now be held under ISA for the next 3 […]

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