Willing to pay the price?

Every time there is an ISA arrest, my mind tells me that the chance of it occurring to me or someone close to me has just risen higher. Once you start on the path of detention based on suspicion and flimsy evidence, there can only be one destination — a police state ruled by a despot.

By James Chin, The Malaysian Insider

It never ceases to amaze me that you can get people to do anything for you, for very little I might add. I mean, look at the people protesting about the ISA. To be exact I don’t mean those calling for the abolition of the ISA, rather those calling for the retention of the ISA. Then we have junior ministers saying things that people who “understand” the “true” nature of the ISA would support it.

Just so that people do not accuse me of being bias, let me summarise the pro-ISA camp’s main arguments on why we need the ISA:

1) It has kept the peace for the past 52 years. Without the ISA, the religious and racial extremists will have a field day.

2) It’s a preventive thing. The argument is that do you want something to happen first? Or do you want to prevent it. As the famous saying goes; prevention is better than cure.

3) Sometimes the police cannot get the evidence that will stand up to the courts, thus the ISA is needed for the “sure guilty but no evidence” types.

4) The ISA acts as a safety mechanism. Those out to create chaos know that there is a limit and the threat of ISA will keep them in line.

5) And finally, even countries like America have something similar called the “Patriot Act”. Since America is the mother of all democracies, the ISA cannot be “anti-democratic”.

6) The “silent” majority supports the ISA and this is reflected in the BN winning all elections since independence.

7) It is needed for those who pose a threat to national security like terrorist.

For me to rebut all the arguments above would take a 10,000-word essay. It will be pointless anyway since for most people it will be too abstract when one talks about human rights, rule of law and human dignity.

I will instead ask a very simple question for the ordinary person in the street; Is the price too high for you to keep the ISA?

READ MORE HERE: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/