OPPOSITION & NGOs Condemn ISA ARRESTS; They must be charged and tried in open court; DAP to file writ of habeas corpus; US demands due proces
UPDATE: = = =another of those meetings
PM meets Indian-based NGOs
He said the prime minister listened attentively to various matters raised by the NGOs and explained at length what the government was doing for the Malaysian Indians to uplift them economically and socially. "He also explained the government's stand on the Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) issue and all those who attended pledged to work with the government for the betterment of the Malaysian Indian community." The spokesman said Abdullah did not make any promises but listened to the views expressed by the 13 NGOs. "One thing for certain is that the NGOs disagreed with the way Hindraf used demonstrations to voice its views and claims, specifically ethnic cleansing of the Indian community, which they said did not make sense," he added.
Among the NGOs that attended the meeting were the Malaysian Hindu Sangam, Malaysian Hindu Dharma Mamandram, Malaysian Hindu Association, Sri Murugan Centre, Malaysian Hindu Youth Council, Malaysian Tamil Youth Bell Clubs Council, and Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The others were the Malaysian Indian Business Association, National Land Finance Cooperative Society, National Union of Plantation Workers, Malaysian Tamil School Headmasters Association, Child Information Learning and Development Centre, and Yayasan Strategik Sosial. Also present were Works Minister and MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and Suhakam commissioner Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam.= == === == =Is it what the people want or what the Government wanted??????
People Support Use Of ISA - Zainuddin
Yesterday, the government arrested five leaders of the unregistered group, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), under the ISA, and according to police, the five had been sent to the Kamunting Detention Centre, Taiping. The five lawyers; P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, R. Kenghadharan and V. Ganabatirau, and a senior executive with a public-listed company, T. Vasanthakumar -- are detained for two years for sedition and for carrying out activities which threatened national security
= == == == = == = == = == of course not surprising, it was an easy way out and he equate the Hindraf detainees with those in Guantanmao Bay(not carry by Bernama for the MSM, but was on Video Capture.
ISA detentions no surprise, says Najib; Bernama via theSUN
When responding to a
“Can they give a fair trial to the detainees atKUALA LUMPUR (Dec 14, 2007): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said the detention of the five men under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for the unlawful assemblies in the city here is not surprising. "The government had been very tolerant. We gave them enough advice on the need to respect and obey the law ,and refrain from threatening national security and public order.
, first of all? We will only response if they do so” Guantanmo Bay
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"The public wanted the government to take a stern action much earlier but we were very patient and tolerant. We wanted to see how things develop, giving people a chance. "We gave sufficient warnings and advice. People must obey the law as nobody is above the law. When the ISA was invoked, it should not have come as a surprise to anyone," said Najib who is also Defence Minister.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hassan said in a statement issued by Bukit Aman yesterday evening that all five had been sent to the Kamunting Detention Camp in Taiping, Perak. The five led the illegal Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) that held an unlawful assembly on Nov 25 and marched to the British High Commission to hand over a petition (INCORRECT????, see how facts are distorted & reported by IGP, they could not go near the HC at all and NO petition was handed over!) ) containing allegations that the Indian community in the country had been sidelined and accusing the Malaysian government of ethnic cleansing. On the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) which organised an illegal rally on Nov 10, Najib said it was up to the Election Commission (EC) to consider its demands. "The EC can look into whatever suggestions but most people view our elections as free and fair," he added.
= == =Bernama versio;
Najib: ISA For Five Not A Surprise
"The public wanted the government to take a stern action much earlier but we were very patient and tolerant. We wanted to see how things develop, giving people a chance to conform with the requirements of the law. "We gave sufficient warnings and advice. People must obey the law as nobody is above the law. When the ISA was invoked, it should not have come as a surprise to anyone," Najib, who is also Defence Minister, told a press conference after the 36th General Border Committee Malaysia-Indonesia (GBC Malindo) meeting here today.
On November 25, the five -- P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, R. Kenghadharan, V. Ganabatirau and T. Vasanthakumar -- leading a group called the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), held an unlawful assembly and marched to the British High Commission to hand over a petition (INCORRECT distortion & report) containing allegations that the Indian community in the country had been sidelined and accusing the Malaysian government of ethnic cleansing.
On Bersih, which organised an illegal rally on November 10 to ask for free and fair elections, Najib said it was up to the Election Commission(EC) to consider its demands. "The EC can look into whatever suggestions but most people think that our elections are free and fair," he said
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OPPOSITION & NGOs Condemn ISA ARRESTS; They must be charged and tried in open court; DAP to file writ of habeas corpus; US demands due process
It was an easy way out for the Government & especially the AG who was running around chasing for concrete evidence. No Charges, Prosecution, Trial, Bail or Arguments. The PM just signed the detention order and branded them as “traitors” and off they ere sent packing to Kamunting, Taiping ISA Detention Camp. The Government must organize the present reality according to its strength and not to the perceived fears of “national security” – just a belief and not a truth at all.
The universe is of good intent; evil and destruction do not exist except as a scenario. Evidence of evil in the world appears to our senses in order to let us know the consequences of the beliefs we hold. Any misunderstandings, crimes, and atrocities, real as they are, are seldom committed by Hindraf out of any intent to be evil, but because of severe misinterpretations about the nature of good, and the means that can be taken towards the actualization of it struggles and goals
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Opposition plans to file application for two lawyers under ISA detention
(The writ of habeas corpus has historically been an important instrument for the safeguarding of individual freedom against arbitrary state action. It is a summons with the force of a court order addressed to the custodian, such as a prison official, demanding that an unlawfully detained person be brought before the court for release.)
Also detained under the ISA yesterday were lawyers P. Uthayakumar and R. Kenghadharan, and Hindraf coordinator T. Vasanthakumar. Karpal Singh said the use of ISA under such circumstances could not be justified. “They should be given an opportunity to face trial in open court if there is evidence,” he added.
Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang concurred, “If they have committed an offence, bring them to court to stand trial. If it is sedition, charge them in court.” Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz said the five were detained as public sentiments continued to be affected. “I believe the police have all the information to use the ISA for fear that the internal security of the country is compromised,” he said, adding that there were also SMSes spreading allegations against the Government. MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the Government had taken the right action to put the five Hindraf leaders under ISA detention. “Peace needs to be maintained in the country. If you keep creating discord, then the Government has no choice but to invoke the ISA,” he told newsmen in Johor Baru.
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Keadilan condemns ISA arrest
Parti Keadilan Rakyat condemns the arrest and detention under the Internal Security Act 1960 of five Hindraf leaders today. It is reported in the Star (Online version ) that their detention orders were signed by Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi detaining them for up to two years under section 8 of the ISA. If the Government has evidence of any criminal offences committed by these five persons, then it is only proper that they must be charged and tried in open court.
The practice of locking up a citizen for two years using vague and unproven allegations of being a threat to national security has no place in any civilised society. We must be able to deal with these issues through a transparent court process. Every citizen has a fundamental and inalienable right to public trial. Keadilan has consistently called for the repeal of the ISA as a draconian law that makes the claim of a functioning democracy in
The Prime Minister had previously threatened the use of the ISA in the name of "national stablility ". He has failed to see that that using the draconian ISA in this manner will only exacerbate tensions within the country. It will take us further away from true national unity. His authorisation of these detentions will now raise questions as to what are the actual motives of the Barisan Nasional in invoking this draconian law. We expect that the Prime Minister will soon repeat again the innuendoes he made recently about police intelligence about violent planned intent. We note that in 2001 the then Inspector General of Police made wild allegations of violent intent by several Keadilan leaders before arresting and detaining them under the ISA. In subsequent court challenged to those detentions, the police could not produce a shred of evidence to substantiate these allegations. Unrealistic demands or loose or exaggerated language by Hindraf leaders cannot in any manner be equated to so-called "threats to national security". eadilan reiterates: release the Hindraf leaders or charge them in open court!
Sivarasa Rasiah; Vice-President; Parti Keadilan Rakyat;
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ISA arrests of Hindraf leaders indefensible
Suaram condemns the use of the International Security Act (ISA) on the five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders today, namely P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, V. Ganabatirau, R Kenghadharan and T Vasanthakumar. There are enough laws in the country that can be invoked by the government, if indeed the HINDRAF leaders have committed a crime or an offence. The use of the ISA is totally unjustified and indefensible. It only goes to show that despite being a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Malaysian government pays scant respect to human rights.
Under the ISA, a person can be detained without trial indefinitely. It violates important and fundamental rights such as the right to be presumed innocent before proven guilty, the right to an open and fair trial and the right to legal counsel. It is unfortunate that the government decided to switch from the use of the court of law to the use of the ISA in dealing with the Hindraf leaders. This only implies that the government has failed to prove its sedition and illegal charges in the court, hence taking the easy way out and resorted to the ISA. Suaram is also extremely concerned about the wellbeing of the detainees. The history of the ISA reveals that many detainees were subjected to torture, inhumane and degrading treatments, especially during the first few weeks of detention. We urge the National Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) to visit the detainees immediately to ensure the wellbeing and personal safety of the detainees. We call on the government to charge the five HINDRAF leaders in an open court, or else release them immediately.
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The Abolish ISA Movement (Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA, GMI) strongly condemns the government used Internal Security Act (ISA) in the arrest of five Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) leaders today. The five arrested by the Special Branch are:
1. P. Uthayakumar (Hindraf legal adviser);
2. M. Manoharan (Lawyer)
3. R. Kenghadharan (Lawyer)
4. V. Ganabati Rao (Lawyer)
5. T. Vasanthakumar (Organizing Secretary)
According to the statement made by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Musa Hassan, the five persons were arrested under Section 8(1) of ISA, which allows the person is detained for any period not exceeding two years and will be send to the detention camp immediately. GMI is very concerned about the safety of the five. The draconian ISA has been widely criticized by both internationally and locally. Many have languished in detention without trial for years and suffered inhumane torture and treatment in detention.
GMI, a coalition of 83 organizations, would like to remind the government that the use of the ISA is completely indefensible. By using the ISA, the government has failed to respect and protect the fundamental rights of human being; no one is guilty until proven guilty. GMI would like to remind the government that, ISA is a cruel and is an arbitrary law that creates a situation conducive for torture and ill-treatment, as well as impunity in
GMI calls upon the government to: 1. Give protection to the detainees. 2. Allow legal access to the detainees and family members within 24 hours. 3. Release the five immediately or charge them in court. GMI also urges the Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) to condemn the government’s action. The government has shown that it has failed to address the issues raised by the HINDRAF and has made it worse by using the uncivilized law. Release All the Detainees! Abolish ISA! Close Down Kamunting Detention Camp!
Released By, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh; Chairman of GMI
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Use of ISA condemned!
he Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and the Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI) are deeply disturbed that the government has resorted to the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) to arrest five leaders of Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force). The use of the ISA comes after three Hindraf leaders have been arrested and charged for sedition. The arrest indicates that the government of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has lost all respect for the mandate that the people gave to him based on his promises for reform and greater accountability. Malaysiakini.com reported on 13 December that the Inspector General Police, Musa Hassan confirmed the arrest of the five in the afternoon.
Musa Hassan reportedly said that the five would be detained for two years. The five are: P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, R. Kenghadharan, V. Ganabatirau and T. Vasanthakumar. CIJ and WAMI are extremely concerned that the arrest is a blunt instrument against dissidents. Such strong action against Hindraf, which has been criticizing the government over what they feel as continued marginalization of the Indian community, further fueled the people's distress especially the Indians that the government was unprepared to address their concern. CIJ and WAMI are concerned that such blatant crackdown will lead to instability which the government says it is trying to prevent. The use of ISA spreads terror and unrest among citizens and seriously mars the standing of the country internationally.
Detention without trial as allowed under the ISA is an unjust measure and against the UN Declaration of Human Rights (Articles 10 and 11). It is against the principles of fundamental liberty which inspired the Federal Constitution. The unlawful nature of ISA detention has been recently upheld by the court in its ruling on 18 October by Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus in the detention of Abdul Malek Hussin. We urge the government to release immediately the five, or give them the recourse of court trial. The Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia (CIJ) aspires for a society that is democratic, just and free, where all people enjoy free media and the freedom to express, seek, and impart information.
Gayathry Venkiteswaran; Executive Director; Centre for Independent Journalism;
PRESS STATEMENT: The I.S.A. Arrests
Contributed by Ambiga Sreenevasan;
The Bar Council deeply regrets the use by the Government of the ISA against the 5 named persons yesterday. The Bar Council has repeatedly voiced its vigorous opposition to the draconian Internal Security Act and generally to preventive detention laws all of which are inconsistent with the Rule of Law. The Bar Council calls for the release of the detainees or that they immediately be brought before a court of law and charged so that they may avail themselves of all the safeguards guaranteed by law to which they are entitled.
The Bar Council urges the Government to reconsider its position in this matter and to hold back on making any further arrests under the ISA. The Bar Council once again reiterates its call to the Government for the immediate repeal of the Internal Security Act as the Act violates fundamental rights and is against the universally accepted principles of the protection of the basic rights of an individual. The Bar Council is of the view that there must be a fair balance between legitimate national security concerns and fundamental liberties. This balance may be struck by the use of the justice system and the due process of law.
Ambiga Sreenevasan; President; Malaysian Bar;
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Appalled by suppression of peaceful protests;
In an open letter to the government, Angeline Loh expresses alarm at the recent heavy-handed suppression of the right to freedom of assembly and to freedom of expression.
OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNMENT
Dear Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers of the Malaysian Government, Aliran Kesedaran Negara would like to directly express to you how appalled and alarmed we are at the recent actions of the police in the name of the government in efforts to suppress peaceful protests that are seen to be human rights violations. The protests are related to protracted problems within the country that have caused much hardship and discontent amongst the 'rakyat'. Honourable PM, you justified these actions in a statement on
We appreciate that if the situation of alleged threatened violence were a reality, curbs on particular recognised human rights may be permitted (although doubtfully as a last resort) even under international law. Yet, in contrast, the recent protest marches held by organisations advocating human rights, good governance, fair and free elections, and just treatment of ethnic minorities in Malaysia, have to all intents and purposes been generally peaceful without any indication of violent intent or incitement of such intent. The only tangible violence we have witnessed – which has been reported by national and international media – originated and commenced from the ranks of riot police present at these events in large numbers. Tear gas and water cannons are instruments of police crowd control; the power to arrest is a police power. So far, we have only seen reports in the mainstream media of police allegations of attempted murder during one protest outside
We have also read of allegations of groups soliciting the assistance of overseas terrorist organizations but have so far seen no full and concrete information for public safety. Moreover, we have not seen any promise by the government to look into and alleviate the problems a large number of people appear to be concerned about. Instead, the government through the police has sent out negative signals in effecting arrests of individuals the Barisan Nasional government sees as threats to national security. Aliran expresses utter disappointment that the government persists in turning a deaf ear to the obviously disturbing problems in the country. In response to the request to be heard by civil society, the authorities have launched heavy-handed crackdowns on particular organisations and individuals that are involved in trying reasonably to present their case in the form of memoranda to the government and other relevant authorities.
We also ask the government what threat the "Peoples' Freedom Walk" on the eve of International Human Rights Day (10 December 2007) by lawyers exercising their basic human right to free expression and assembly posed to the nation at large. Further, why was Bar Council human rights committee chief Edmund Bon arrested merely for protesting against the removal of banners on the Bar Council's private property and charged with obstructing Municipal Council officers? Surely this is an over-reaction by Municipal Council officers and police. Being one person confronted by a team of "Perbandaran" officers, he could not physically do much to prevent them from carrying out their task, even though they were trespassing on private property. It is alarming that the BN government has acted against and denied the exercise of human rights during the commemoration of the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This incident is even more historically significant having occurred on the eve of International Human Rights Day when human rights should have been celebrated and upheld. We urge the government to review its current repressive actions in attempting to silence dissent through the denial of the exercise of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms in order to restore the confidence of the public and safeguard them from violence committed by those who should be protecting the public. In contrast to so many other countries where peaceful protests on various issues have taken place without a heavy police presence and without incidences of violence, the actions of the Malaysian Police have alarmed many, both locally and internationally, especially because the recent protest was in fact peaceful.
It is also internationally embarrassing for
the UN Human Rights Council.
Angeline Loh; Executive Committee member;
US demands due process for arrested ethnic Indians
The five leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), pushing for an end to discrimination of ethnic Indians in multi-racial
"It is our firm position that those individuals who want to peacefully express themselves in a political forum or any other forum should be allowed to do so," he told reporters. Human rights groups have campaigned for the abolition of the Internal Security Act, a law that they say has been abused by the authorities.
The Malaysian government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should ensure that the five arrested leaders are provided legal rights "consistent with Malaysian law and international standards," a State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Hindraf enraged the government last month by mustering at least 8,000 people to the streets of
A Hindraf spokesman said the arrests of P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan, R Kenghadharan, V Ganabatirau and T Vasanthakumar would not silence the movement, which the government has accused of stirring up racial tension.
The Malaysian government, led by ethnic Malays since independence, has always used deadly race riots in 1969 as a reason for controls on freedom even though some groups believe Malaysians have matured enough to discuss their grievances openly. "Malaysian authorities are obligated, like any sovereign countries' government, to balance the need for public order with equally important need for robust and free debate of issues important to Malaysian citizens," the State Department official said.
"It is our hope that the
= == = == = == == =from DAP Ronnie Lui
Hindraf: Top 5 leaders detained under ISA
The ISA crackdown on HindrafÂ 5 was hard and cruel. They were sent straight to the Kamunting Camp in Taiping for at leas two years. The DAP delegation ( Karpal Singh, M Kula, Fong Po Kuan, Chow Kuan Yeow, Fong Kui Lun, Lim Hock Seng, A Sivanesan and me) was informed by the Dang Wangi OCPD Zulkarnain that all 5 of them left KL at about 6pm to 7 pm. Do these Hindraf leaders really pose a serious threat to national security? I don’t think so.If the authority has evidence to show that they were a real threat to internal security, they should be chargedÂ in an open courts. DAP has set up a support group to assist the family members of the Hindraf 5. The group will be led by Ipoh Barat MP M Kula. He will be assisted by A Sivanesan. We have also directed our lawyers to study the possiblility of applying habeas corpus for all theÂ 5 ISA detainees. DAP unreservedly condemn the ISA crackdown and urge the Internal Security Minister to release all of them unconditionally. We urge all supporters of Hindraf to remain calm and united.December 14, 2007
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Use Of ISA Will Not Affect Country's Image - Syed Hamid
PUTRAJAYA, Dec 13 (Bernama) -- Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar believes that using the Internal Security Act (ISA), a preventive law, against five extremists today would not affect the country's image. He said this was because other countries also had preventive laws such as the Patriot Act and Anti-Terrorism Act to safeguard their security. "We are reluctant to use the ISA. If we use the ISA, it is because of subversion of security. We want to prevent the situation from getting worse. "ISA is no different from the Patriot Act and Anti-Terrorism Act," he told reporters after briefing foreign heads of mission on Malaysia's foreign policy this year and the latest developments in the country, at a hotel, near here.P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, R. Kenghadharan, V. Ganabatirau and T. Vasanthakumar, who masterminded the illegal assemblies in
Syed Hamid said he had explained the country's side of the story on the matter, including the recent illegal assemblies and the ISA detention. "How they react is up to them. I am happy and satisfied with the briefing. I just explained the factual part from the government's point of view. I was not seeking their agreement or consent. I am answerable to the Malaysian public and Parliament. "In fact, some diplomats thanked me for the briefing as they could have a better picture of the developments in this country and wanted this briefing to be an annual affair."
He said it was normal for any country to take preventive action before a situation worsened, adding that "we don't wait until things happen, then only we want to take action". Among others, he said, the briefing touched on democracy, freedom including religious freedom, rights of citizens, and that not a single race had been marginalised in the country's development. "I told them we had never demolished any legal house of worship. In fact, there are 70,600 temples in this country," he said in obvious reference to the extremist group's claim that the country had engaged in atrocities and ethnic cleansing of the Indian community, including demolishing their temples.
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Syed Hamid: Strange for US to judge us ;By : Hamidah Atan
PUTRAJAYA: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar yesterday said Malaysian police action against demonstrations and rallies in recent weeks was to maintain peace and stability and was within the norms of universal practice.
Hence, he said, it was unfair of the
"Even their comments that immediate measures be taken to prevent further destruction of places of worship is not fair. "I have not seen many temples in other countries but in
Syed Hamid added that the Indian government knew for a fact that the Indians in
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ISA Was Invoked On Extremist Five To Safeguard National Security - PM
KUANTAN, Dec 13 (Bernama) -- Five members of an extremist group were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in the interests of national security, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Thursday. Even though the government gave freedom of expression to every Malaysian citizen, national security was paramount than anything else, said Abdullah, who is also Internal Security Minister. "Between the freedom of expression and public safety, I will give importance to public safety. If you want to speak up, you must follow procedures. "This is not a nation that shuts the mouth of everyone. The people are not dumb. If we want freedom, we must be responsible. "Freedom cannot be given without responsibility," he told reporters after chairing a closed-door meeting with the Pahang Umno liaison committee. Present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob. P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, R. Kenghadharan, V. Ganabatirau and T. Vasanthakumar, who masterminded the illegal assemblies in
When pointed out that the ISA detention would be politicised by the Opposition in the coming general election, Abdullah said since when the Opposition did not resort to all sorts of tricks and tactics? (to deceive the people)?. "It's the work of the Opposition to oppose (whatever the government does for the people), he said. Asked whether the decision to detain the five organisers of unlawful assemblies was his last resort to handle the undesirable activities of the unregistered movement, the prime minister said he knew when to invoke the ISA.
Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharom told Bernama that the five were detained at several locations in
After 60 days, the Internal Security Minister can extend the detention without trial for two years or less or free the individual without referring to the courts.
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Defend Nation's Stability - Abdullah
KUANTAN, Dec 13 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the country's peace and political stability should be defended so that the national development agenda could be pursued. He said without peace and political stability, the country's development programmes could not be fully realised. "Threats to national security must be given serious attention as we need to value peace and national security. "We won't be able to develop this country and its people the way we want it to be without these ingredients.
"Barisan Nasional has announced many plans and has the money to carry them out in the years to come," he told reporters after a closed-door meeting with Pahang BN liaison committee members here today. Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob. Abdullah was on a one-day working visit to Pahang.
Abdullah said he was happy that BN component parties in Pahang understood all the issues facing the nation.
= == = == = == = ==2007/12/14; NST – NST Spin Editorial quoting some out of context materials without the whole picture; those who have not read, take a look at his interview with Msiakini & his Symbolic Police Report (see link later) denouncing any links with the terrorists group 7 violence
Editorial: Detention orders
THE authorities were clearly loath to unleash the Internal Security Act against the instigators of the unrest that has racked certain quarters of our citizenry in recent weeks. Instead, in attempting to stanch the persistent law-breaking of illegal assemblies and the agitation of social activists and oppositionists, it was the Police Act that was brought to bear against troublemakers. This was a significant difference over domestic-security actions in the past, when the ISA was much more readily invoked. On such occasions as 1987's Operation Lallang, protests were heard over the use of the ISA in circumstances where the provisions of the
Police Act should have been sufficient. Thus had it been with the present troubles - until yesterday, when five Hindraf leaders were picked up and handed two-year detention orders under the ISA. The reasons for this action may seem manifold. Hindraf's activism had hardly diminished on the break-up of their illegal rallies and the crackdown on their instigators, despite acknowledgment of the legitimate grievances of the sincerely disaffected.
If anything, they redoubled their efforts to vilify this country and demonise its government. To significant effect, judging by the admonitions
Hindraf's claims of Malaysian Indians being subjected to "ethnic cleansing", "apartheid", even "genocide", were scandalous lies. Yet, it was on such blatantly seditious claims that this country's name was dragged through mud. Businesses have been affected, tourists are staying away and investors taking a wait-and-see approach before putting their money into the country. Ultimately, however, the tipping point was reached on police assertions of Hindraf's leaders having cultivated contacts with terrorist organisations abroad.
This cleaved alarmingly with P. Uthayakumar saying he "did not rule out violence", and his brother Waytha Moorthy saying