91pc in Home Ministry web poll want ISA abolished

(The Malaysian Insider) A week after a mammoth anti-Internal Security Act (ISA) rally in Kuala Lumpur, results of a two-day old Home Ministry online poll shows that 91 per cent of 8,722 respondents want the security law abolished.

The rest want a review of the ISA which allows detention without trial and first introduced in 1960 against communist terrorists. The results of the poll at 6.15pm is available at www.ikdn.gov.my.

DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua today commended Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein for taking the steps to gauge public perception over what the opposition calls a draconian law.

“We hope that the minister will not only make this polls for show only and take this a real important feedback to ensure that ISA is abolished. The voice is very clear,” the Petaling Jaya Utara MP told reporters.

Critics and opposition parties say the law is now being used against political rivals. Some 80 are still being detained under the law at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak.

Those previously detained include religious extremists, currency forgers and a nuclear parts middleman apart from opposition politicians and other activists.

But Pua criticised the website for a question that is aimed to mislead the public about ISA. The poll asked if Malaysians know that Britain and America referred to ISA to gazette their Anti-Terrorism Act and Patriot Act.

“I feel that this question has misled the public because firstly they did not refer to ISA and the ISA Act is not the same as Anti-terrorism and Patriot Act. In UK, when the anti-terrorism act is used they have to go to the courts.

"The detention they use is the same with the police act in Malaysia, that is detention of not more than two weeks. But even when they want to have detention for two weeks, they must after two days to go to the courts and request for the detention. So the terrorism act in UK is like the police act in Malaysia,” Pua explained.

He also pointed out that the Patriot Act and Anti-Terrorism Act can only be used when the crime is clearly connected to terrorism.

“But in Malaysia, matters not related to terrorism can be detained under ISA, writing blogs can be brought to ISA, and writing newspapers can also be brought to ISA,” he said.

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