ISA changes causes a stir at the Dewan

Khairy Jamaluddin

(NST) — Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin created a stir when he claimed the Pakatan Rakyat was jealous because the Barisan Nasional beat them to it by repealing the Internal Security Act before they had a chance to do so.

Debating the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill, he said Pakatan also failed to put provisions to safeguard the nation’s security in their Buku Jingga.

Drawing on the cheers and table thumpings of other BN backbenchers, he said the opposition was weak when it came to national security.

Taking a jibe at opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s call for a committee to be set up to study the Bill, he said the former practiced selective parliamentary democracy.

“We set up a committee on Lynas but they rejected it. What is this, selective parliamentary democracy?” he questioned them.

Calming the situation, he said the opposition should realise that the Bill would be reviewed every five years by a committee that included members from the Bar Council and Suhakam.

Again cheer broke out and tables were pounded after Datuk Ibrahim Ali (Independent-Pasir Mas) challenged the opposition to urge Singapore to abolish its Internal Security Act (ISA)  before condemning Malaysia’s  own ISA.

He said the DAP, especially Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) should make an open statement on the matter at hand.

Ibrahim issued the challenge after the opposition continued harping on Malaysian government’s cruelty when it used the ISA.

“I challenge Bagan (MP) to make an open statement urging Singapore to repel ISA.”

“Don’t try to teach us. Those in Singapore can enjoy peace with no street demonstration because of ISA.”

“The Malaysian government should not apologise (for implementing the ISA). And, it was a bold move by the government to take the risk to uphold democracy and human rights (by abolishing the ISA).”

Ibrahim, who had been detained under the ISA, said such a law had helped to protect the country’s security from irresponsible quarters.

Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) had warned the House that things started with political inspirations could spiral out of control and threaten the country’s peace. “Some political inspirations can incite anger and animosity,” he said.

Since the debate started, as expected, the opposition did not support the bill, but they unanimously supported the government’s move to abolish ISA.

The other camp, comprising BN and some independent MPs, had supported the bill to ensure Malaysia’s peace and harmony could still be preserved in the post-ISA era.