Absolutely NO to ISA…on a lazy Malaysian Sunday

By Sim Kwang Yang

As I write, at 4.30pm on Saturday afternoon, following news of the anti-ISA protest in down town Kuala Lumpur on the Internet, I can imagine how the city centre 8 miles away from my Cheras home has turned into a war zone.

The protesters numbering in the tens of thousands must be playing hide and seek with the massive police presence there.  In the past few hours, the Police have arrested hundreds of protesters in various parts of the city.  The chemical-laced water canons and tear gas have been deployed, but the crowds do not seem to have been intimidated.

The hectic chaos in KL city centre is reminiscent of the massive protest about 10 years ago after the arrest and detention of Anwar Ibrahim.  The happy days of POLITIK JALANRAYA are back again.

ISA Protest1

In past days and especially to-day, the city traffic has been trapped in a gridlock. There will be disgruntled shopkeepers and motorists who will complain about the great inconvenience and loss of income caused by the protest.  These grumblings will probably be magnified in the mainstream media to-morrow.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has commented that the anti-ISA protest is unnecessary because the authorities are in the process of reviewing this much hated law.

They still do not get it.  The government cannot be trusted to take care of everything; the people must be allowed room in public space on the streets of KL to express their extreme contempt for this law in peaceful manners.  This is called people exercising their democratic rights to free assembly and free expression.

Abolish ISA1

I was a little apprehensive that there was a simultaneous pro-ISA protest organised by PERWARIS, a group of Muslim NGOs under the aegis of Ibrahim Ali the Frog.  He was himself detained under the ISA twice.  But this rally seems insignificant, compared to the huge anti-ISA crowd.

The protesters in KL on Saturday have bravely step forth to face down the police boldly against everything bad about the ISA.  The very fact that they are prepared to put their bodies in harm’s way is an indication of their resolve to have this unjust law banished to the rubbish bin of history.