There was a time when dissidents could not even voice out freely. Anyone found criticising a certain then-Prime Minister would be hauled up and locked up without any chance of trial. Judges who do not toe the line get removed or sidelined. And at virtually every function attaended bybthis former Prime Minister Sinatra’s “My Way” would reverberate the function hall, a subtle reminder of how things should be run – thise who resist will be given a free ride to the Kamunting detention centre thanks to the Internal Security Act (ISA). Coincidentally this former Prime Minister now joins the call for more freedom of speech when in the past he got expelled from UMNO for criticising the then Prime Minister for, among others, NOT executing Chinese prisoners.
Today, Malaysians speak freely. Yet they still claim voices of dissent are being stifled. Anwar Ibrahim, the so-called victim of political conspiracy (apparently his proponents claim the government provided an arse to be buggered and poor Anwar couldn’t resist getting himself in deep shit) could still make political statements from behind bars even to the international media.
People ask me, is the National Security Council Act going to be ISA 2.0?
Miss Lim Sian See writes the following:
In 2011, ISA an the Emergency Ordinance 1969 was repealed by govt. These two acts had powers that were wide-ranging and had taken effect for decades.
Since then, the govt has passed several bills to give back some powers that were missing from those two acts.
– When SOSMA was introduced, Pakatan said it was ISA 2.0.
– When the Peaceful Assembly Act was introduced, some also called it ISA 2.0.
– When the amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) was introduced, they called it ISA 2.0,
– When the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was introduced, it was also called ISA 2.0
And recently, the National Security Council (NSC) bill was introduced and passed, the same people and international human rights groups are calling it ISA 2.0 too.
The NSC bill allows the National Security Council to declare certain areas as a security area, Once declared, security forces deployed “may without warrant arrest any person found committing, alleged to have committed or reasonably suspected of having committed any offence under any written laws in the security area”.
The scope and powers under the NSC bill are very similar to those under the Emergency Ordinance where 92 emergency ordinances, five to six parliamentary acts, and hundreds of subsidiary legislations actually gave more power to the Federal Govt for the 42 years from 1969 to 2011 – all of which were lifted by Najib’s govt.
For example, under the EO the federal government can make laws that are under a state’s jurisdiction such as on land matters – something that the NSC does not have.
During these 40 years, the EO which was already in effect did not affect our country’s progress. The NSC bill provides us with the ability to implement EO-type rules only in specific areas and only IF there is a specific terrorism or security threat as deemed necessary by the NSC.
Any renewal to the security areas are also to be passed by parliament.
It is thus clear that the NSC powers are less than the EO powers. Also, no security areas have been declared – unlike the EO where the entire country was under Emergency law for 42 years.
Many may have forgotten that France implemented a state of emergency and closed all its borders less than a month ago after Paris was attacked leaving 130 persons dead,
France parliament have now voted to extend the emergency for 3 months and there is talk that the emergency period will be extended indefinitely,
Since the declaration of that emergency, France police have conducted more than 2,200 raids on homes and businesses, detained 232 people, restricted the movements of many others – banned 22 people from leaving the country and confined nine of them to their homes -, freeze assets and closed 3 mosques.
These acts by the France police are exactly the same concerns that critics of the NSC bill have – but strangely, these very same critics do not criticize France for doing what the NSC bills allow our govt to do.
Should a “Paris attack” occur in Malaysia first before these critics finally understand why the government needs to put these laws in place and then they will keep quiet?
What the government has done is to ensure that, in the event of a similar attack like in Paris, Malaysia is legally equipped to move as quickly as France did,
The prior laws passed such as POTA, PCA, SOSMA were more preventative laws, The NSC laws are designed to allow the Govt to legally and swiftly act IF such attacks like in Paris happens and allow for a much stronger response,
For all the multiple times the opposition have cried ISA 2.0 or “uncharted territory:, it cannot be denied that the old ISA and EO were still much worse and unfair than what we have as replacement laws -which has more checks and balances.
Recent threats and attacks world-wide leaves Malaysia no choice but to be equipped legally to either prevent or respond decisively should such attacks happens in this country.