Demos pointless, ISA already under review: PM

(The Star) – The Internal Security Act (ISA) gatherings planned for Saturday are pointless and would not benefit anyone since the Act is already being reviewed, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib said what was needed were discussions and feedback from the people, and not protests such as the ones planned for Saturday.

“Demonstrations will not solve anything. I have said from the beginning since I took over the leadership that the ISA will be reviewed. We are currently in the process of doing so.

“What is important is for people to give their opinions, suggestions and concrete ideas on how best to improve the Act instead of protesting against it.

“The ISA should not be politicised,” he said after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting on Friday.

The anti-ISA movement, Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) or the “Abolish the ISA Movement,” plans to have 100,000 people march to the Istana Negara to hand over a memorandum urging the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve the Act.

Meanwhile, the pro-ISA group known as Pembela Negara Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations Council (Magaran), which claims it comprises 56 NGOs with over 100,000 members, plans a counter-rally to hand the Agong a memorandum supporting the ISA.

Other pro-ISA groups that have threatened similar action are Majlis Pemuafakatan Ummah (Pewaris) and Persatuan Pribumi Perkasa (Perkasa).

Police have set up roadblocks ahead of the planned gatherings, causing major traffic jams throughout the city here on Friday.

In PETALING JAYA, Opposition party PAS said it would mobilise at least 50,000 members nationwide for the anti-ISA rally, but promises it will be a “peaceful event.”

Party vice-president Salahuddin Ayub said he was aware the public feared that the anti and pro-ISA gatherings would turn into clashes, reports LOH FOON FONG.

“It’s a peaceful gathering. The locations that the pro-ISA demonstrators are gathering at are different from ours,” he said on Friday.

“If there is any provocation against us, there will be 1,000 youths from our Unit Amal Pemuda security team to protect our members from any attack,” Salahuddin said however.

In KOTA BARU, PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said Malaysians who felt that the ISA was cruel should attend the anti-ISA rally.

Nik Abdul Aziz, also the Kelantan Mentri Besar, said there was no reason for the Government to obstruct the intention to hand over the memorandum to the King as the rally was a peaceful one, reports SYED AZHAR.