ISA debate on Saturday

(The Sun) – The Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) today announced plans to hold a public debate with Majlis Permuafakatan Ummah (Pewaris) on whether the controversial Internal Security Act (ISA) is permitted or forbidden in Islam.

GMI secretary E.Nalini  said the debate titled "ISA: Haram atau Halal" is scheduled to be held on Saturday in the Civic Centre in  Petaling Jaya.

"The debate follows Pewaris' statements that the ISA was needed to defend Islam in Malaysia," said Nalini, adding that the debate formet would be similar to the debate between Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Shabery Chik.

GMI is fielding two-time ISA detainee Hulu Klang assemblyman Shaari Sungib.

Nalini said Pewaris had asked for a meeting to finalise details of the debate.

"We called Pewaris two days ago, and they have asked us for a discussion  before the debate at 4pm tomorrow. We will be discussing the debate format and a neutral moderator," said Nalini.

"We will know whether they will join the debate tomorrow after discussions with them. At this point, they have yet to give any confirmation," she said.

"They (Pewaris) came up with the statement saying that the ISA is relevant from an Islamic point of view and  that it is not cruel and it is relevant. They came up with this statement last year and they have continuously saying this (in the media)," said Nalini.

GMI committee member Norlaila Othman said: "We have actively been approaching Islamic bodies to have a declaration on the Islamic status of the ISA. And we have been trying to meet with Islamic institutions such as JAKIM, but they were unwilling to admit that the ISA was cruel or haram," she said.