02 August 2009

The ISA in Malaysia -- Protests, Tear Gas, and Water Cannons

The Internal Security Act, or ISA, is a law that allows police in Malaysia to detain people without trial in certain circumstances. The primary concern for most is that the ISA does not recognize some basic human rights with respect to the idea of a right to a speedy and fair trial. The ISA is designed, according to its supporters, to ensure that Malaysia's domestic security is protected from all threats. In essence, the ISA gives the authorities the right to undertake pre-emptive or preventive detention.

As this as a backdrop, some 15,000 Malaysians seeking to have the ISA removed from the statute books took to the streets (photo courtesy of Reuters). If I was Malaysian, and perhaps even if I wasn't but just there, I would have taken to the streets too. Human rights are human rights. These basic human rights, no matter what the former Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahatir, says, are not based on western or eastern / Asian values. Human rights are human values, simple.

In Kuala Lumpur the 5,000 police on hand were seemingly outnumbered by protesters. Nevertheless, police had at their disposal water cannons and tear gas, both of which they were prepared to use, and did so.

At least 175 people have been arrested in this heavy-handed assault on a peaceful demonstration. According to Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister and one-time jail inmate, the police action was not only unwarranted but unnecessarily brutal.

The current Prime Minister, Najib Razak, has called the protest unnecessary as he has already agreed to review the ISA. However, it would seem that at least 15,000 Malaysians do not believe him and are prepared to make their lack of faith in the PM known.


lawbug said...

sorry, another hijacking. another turn. You dont have a "place" for French crime at the moment

from KESRA

Ratna Laporkan Ibunda Manohara ke Mabes Polri
-- 1 AGUSTUS: Aktivis perempuan Ratna Sarumpaet bersama korban Shaliha Lanti (25) serta tim pengacara melaporkan Daisy Fajarina, ibu Manohara ke Mabes Polri Jakarta, terkait tindak kekerasan yang dialami korban serta masalah vonis Daisy di pengadilan Prancis.

Harry Nizam H. said...

Rob ...
I thought that such protests only happen in my country.

Lawbug ...
It is getting clearer that it is the Mom who created the problems.

Rob Baiton said...


Bugger! This is a Manohara related story, right? Then one of the Mano posts would have been the right place. There are a couple of them that deal with Daisy "on the run" Fajarina.

I am not surprised that Ratna is involved on this one.

I have also written fairly regularly that Daisy needs to show some ovarian fortitude and face the music. Although, I am not confident that the Indonesian government is going to do what it must, and facilitate Daisy's return to France.

So much for protecting Indonesia's migrant workers while they are abroad.

Sad really.


Indonesia is an important place, but it is far from being the center of the protesting / demonstrations universe.

On Manohara...there are two distinctly separate issues; Manohara's alleged abuse at the hands of the prince and Daisy's abuse of her domestic servant.

Harry Nizam H. said...

Rob ...
My opinion is based on the fact that the Mom was the one who brought Mano to this mess, i.e. by allowing Mano to marry at 16.
Note: Law no 1/1974 stipulated that at such age a girl cannot get married w/out parent's permission.
And without Daisy's persuasion, Mano would not accompany Fakhry, and Daisy, on the Umroh trip early this year which leads to Mano's "abduction".

Rob Baiton said...


Does the law apply to Indonesian citizens abroad? Or in this case would the marriage be based on Malaysia law or even religious law?

In any event, there has been no statements from Manohara that she did not want to marry the prince. In fact, there have been no statements to the effect that she did not want to date AB or that her mother in an ill-conceived attempt at social climbing forced her to do so.

Not all parents who condone the marriage of their 16-year-old daughters are guilty of child abuse. I would always question whether the decision to marry so young is wise, but ultimately it is not my decision to make.

Finally, if Daisy gave her blessing to the union, then the Marriage Law has not been broken, has it?

The issues that I identify are still two separate issues.