Pakatan should charter an ‘Order Act’ and a free press

In this age, 11 years after the Reformasi Movement started in Malaysia, the traditional printed and audio-visual press is taking a beating from blogs and from independent media portals. These blogs and portals are reporting news as fast as lighting and they are attracting more visitors with a good retention level.

Ali Cordoba, World Futures

The country is gearing for change but the party that is bound to take the challenge in the event the Barisan National (BN) is to kick the bucket and lose power after 5 decades long of rule and dominations has barely a plan. The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) of Anwar Ibrahim is still in the lurch about how it would handle ‘security’ and a free press if it is in power, says observers.

One of the reasons that roughly 50% of the populace in Malaysia is still sceptical about the PR is that it does not really trust the ‘political will’ of the opposition. That has to change. The PR must charter the removal of the Internal Security Act (ISA), seen by many Malays in particular as essential for the nation’s safety and security, with a milder National Security Act (NSA) or Public Order Act (POA).

Indeed anarchists and over-zealous ‘freedom’ lovers will lambast the PR for being ‘negative’ and for adopting the wrong path in the long road for the freedom of the nation from BN rule but rhetoric does not run a nation nor does anarchists. Hence the PR has a moral responsibility to ensure that the nation will be safe and secure if it is in power and to make the sceptics swing off balance from the BN’s point of view on security and the need for the ISA, the opposition must propose clear cut security barometers that will allow it to do without the existing ‘draconian’ ISA.