PR: Utusan’s ISA call a bid to frighten Malays

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers have attacked Utusan Malaysia’s latest diatribe which calls for the Internal Security Act (ISA) to be used, saying it is an “old tactic” to scare Malays into thinking that their rights are being eroded.

The lawmakers claimed that the Ummo-owned daily’s push for the use of the law — which allows for detention without trial — reflects the party’s inability to address problems affecting the Malays.

It also intends to frighten the Malays into thinking that  their rights, which are guaranteed under the Federal Constitution, are in jeopardy.

Utusan editor Zaini Hassan wrote the editorial today that called for the ISA to be used against those who questioned the Federal Constitution, saying “Use the ISA. All of us Malaysians want the government to use this law against anyone who wants to threaten the peace and stability in this country.

PR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim slammed the article, saying that Utusan’s latest claims reflect the ruling Umno elite’s inability to have an open “intellectual” debate on the Constitution.

“Utusan has tried this angle again and again. It is an age-old debate that has been going on. Utusan’s arguments represent the views of the ruling elite who are not prepared to face the Malay masses. They cannot address the problems that are affecting the Malays, therefore they are using the ISA as an excuse to make Malays feel that their rights are under threat,” said Anwar.

Anwar told The Malaysian Insider that Malays should be open to discussions on the Constitution, saying that the special rights of Malays and Bumiputeras under Article 153 will be upheld.

“Malays should have the confidence, they should have the strength and the resolve for an intellectual debate, to truly understand the position of the Malays today, and what they can do to become better, more competitive, more successful,” said Anwar, when commenting on the editorial.

The former deputy prime minister also defended his daughter — Nurul Izzah Anwar’s actions in inviting Malay rights group Perkasa for a dialogue on Malay rights recently.

“All (Nurul) Izzah was saying was that let us look at the provisions within the Constitution. Let us discuss this. The provisions are meant to be protected. It is only being discussed because leaders from the ruling elite have used this to protect their cronies.

“Who is questioning the Constitution? Their assumption is based on their lies and deceit, as well as their inability to form coherent arguments [based on] their archaic form of thinking,” added Anwar.

The Utusan article also called on the Najib Administration, specifically the Home Ministry, to be “firmer” in taking action against individuals who questioned the social contract.

“The Home Ministry has to be firmer…people are wanting firm action to stabilise the country’s situation, This is our country, we love this country, what do we care about what foreigners say about our country’s security.

“Only those who have ill intentions and don’t want the ISA to threaten them would oppose the ISA and would want it abolished. Don’t let a small group of protestors (less than 10 people) in London the other day be a reason for the government to be soft… everyone knows that the protests were done by the country’s opposition,” said the article.