Former chief justice hopes for return of ISA

Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad

(The Rakyat Post) – Former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad said there was a need for the return of the repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960.

Speaking at a press conference today, Abdul Hamid said it was better to have the ISA as it empowered the court when taking action against individuals.

“We should not fear the ISA. Singapore and Brunei have it, too, and no one has complained.

“What is there to be scared of?”

Abdul Hamid said although existing laws were enough to face any situation in Malaysia, they were not being used effectively.

He related the problem to the disunity prevailing in Malaysia, caused by those who disrespected the Federal Constitution.

“We think that the country’s unity is closely related to the Federal Constitution because the Constitution is a result of discussions on compromises that took place when we sought independence.”

He said the provisions discussed and agreed upon in the Constitution by all parties and races then included the rights of Malays, native Sabahans and Sarawakians as well as Islam’s position, among others.

“If we want to ensure that unity in Malaysia prevails, then the agreed provisions in the Federal Constitution have to be upheld.

“It becomes a problem when groups challenge and want more than what is there without giving anything in return.”

According to Abdul Hamid, this led to the decision by newly-formed Malay Muslim coalition Barisan Perpaduan Nasioanal (BPN) to draft a memorandum to come up with a solution to the issue of disunity in Malaysia.

“To me, the solution is simple. Respect the existing Constitution and with that, unity will prevail,” said Abdul Hamid, who is also BPN chairman.

BPN, formed earlier this year, comprises 60 Malay Muslim non-governmental organisations, including Perkasa, Malaysian Muslim Solidarity, Jati, Gabungan Pelajar Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung and Pewaris Malaysia.

Individuals who have joined the coalition include former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Rahim Nor, former Armed Forces chief Tan Sri Mohd Ghazali Mohd Seth, former Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin and former Umno Wanita chief Tan Sri Zaleha Ismail.

Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali said the group was in the midst of discussing provisions to be included in the memorandum, which would then be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

BPN was set up to maintain harmony and peace in Malaysia and had its first council meeting on Feb 28.