Hornbill Unleashed

July 10, 2012

Najib: ISA abolished because it didn’t help politically

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Hazlan Zakaria

The ISA was abolished because it didn’t help the BN-led government politically, said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.”If you put someone in under ISA it doesn’t kill them politically, instead it enhances their political career,” he told civil servants in Putrajaya today.Without naming names, Najib gave the example of some ex-ISA detainees whose political profile he said skyrocketed after being detained.

He said this while delivering the keynote speech at a dialogue with civil servants organised by the Razak School of Government.

Similarly the PM also said that the Emergency Ordinance (EO) had to be done away with as technological improvements has rendered exile less then useful a deterrent to crime.

azlan“In the old days, it was easy, if someone was bad, we just catch them and send them to places like Pasir Puteh, or maybe Jerantut.

“But nowadays, it is useless as no matter how far you send them, with their cellphones, they can still do their work (commit crime).”

As such he said, the Malaysian police must now change they way they work.

“Now police must train themselves how to look for evidence.”

He stressed that instead of just catching suspects and chucking them into EO detention, police now provide evidence to charge them in court.

This is something which he wants the police to do well, as failures will make things look bad for the government in power.

The EO was a preventive law that allowed detention without trial used by police to hold known criminals with shaky evidence against them or for time-sensitive cases, though critics say this was misused by cops to just dump in suspects without bothering to even open investigations.

Facing a more competitive global environment

The challenge before the police, explained Najib, is one that is faced by all civil servants as they face a more competitive global environment and rising public expectations.

In the face of this he said that one important role for civil servants is in working to create wealth so that the extra bounty can then be distributed to the rakyat.

“This is why the socialist aproach does not work, they only talk of distributing, but we create wealth and then re-distribute.”

He said that it was only the creation of new revenues via higher income tax revenues and from the Customs Department that allowed goodies like the BR1M and other payouts to the rakyat to take place.

The abolishment of the ISA, EO and redistribution of wealth to the rakyat via various handouts are cornerstones in the reforms touted by Najib, but critics said that the payments are just one-off goodies, while pointing to replacements laws they deem more draconian then the repealed security provisions



  1. BN’s ISA will not prevent great leaders like Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Lim Guan Eng, Tian Chua, Anwar Ibrahim and many others from emerging stronger to shoulder the burden of the rakyat.

    Comment by Mohd Rashid — July 10, 2012 @ 7:53 PM | Reply

  2. Malaysia to scrap strict security laws
    (Al Jazeera)

    Two controversial laws which allowed indefinite detention without trial will be abolished, prime minister says.
    Last Modified: 15 Sep 2011 19:14

    Razak, centre, made the announcement in an address marking the country’s independence [EPA]

    Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime minister, has abolished two controversial security laws and lifted licensing curbs on the media.

    The government will abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the Emergency Ordinance, a relic of British colonial rule which allow indefinite detention without trial, and replace them with new anti-terrorism laws that ensure protection of suspects’ fundamental rights, Najib said in a televised address on Thursday.

    “It is time for Malaysians to move forward with new hope,” he said.

    “Let there be no doubt that the Malaysia we are creating is a Malaysia which has a functional and inclusive democracy.”

    Police laws would also be amended to allow freedom of assembly according to international norms and the government will give more freedom to media groups by scrapping the need for annual printing and publishing licenses, he said.

    Calls for reforms

    Najib’s speech marked Friday’s anniversary of the 1963 union of peninsula Malaysia with Sabah and Sarawak states on Borneo Island – six years after the country’s independence from British rule.

    It comes two months after more than 20,000 people demonstrated in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, for electoral reforms.

    At the time, police fired tear gas and water cannons and arrested more than 1,400 people for taking part in what they said was illegal activity.

    Thursday’s policy changes are Najib’s boldest since he took office in April 2009 and are seen as a move to bolster support for his ruling coalition ahead of general elections.

    “There may be short-term pain for me politically, but in the long-term the changes I am announcing tonight will ensure a brighter, more prosperous future for all Malaysians,” Najib said.

    National Front, Najib’s political coalition, has been working to regain public support after suffering its worst performance in 2008 polls.

    The opposition alliance wrested more than one-third of seats in parliament amid public allegations of government corruption and racial discrimination.

    The elections are not due until 2013 but are widely expected next year.

    ‘Significant step’

    Amnesty International, the UK-based rights monitor, described Najib’s announcement as a “significant step forward”.

    “The ISA is a notoriously repressive piece of legislation that has stifled peaceful dissent in the country for over 50 years,” Sam Zarifi, the group’s Asia-Pacific director, said in a statement.

    “The thousands of people still detained under these preventive detention laws must be either charged with a recognisably criminal offence, or be released immediately.”

    Najib proposed two new laws to preserve peace and public order and combat terrorism.

    “Any new legislation must comply with international human rights standards,” Zarifi said.

    Comment by anon — July 10, 2012 @ 12:01 PM | Reply


    Comment by ANTI-FASCISTS — July 10, 2012 @ 11:54 AM | Reply

  4. Najib has confirmed with his own words that the scrapping of the ISA was for political reasons, specifically, that scrapping it served BN’s political ends.

    NOT scrapped because it was draconian, out-dated and had been abused.

    So if the ISA had benefitted BN, we can deduce that Najib would not have scrapped it.

    And then there are the very serious concerns about the laws which Najib’s government enacted to replace the ISA – the Evidence Act, Security Offences Act and such, which many have opined as being even worse than the ISA.

    So much for Najib’s much touted reform. Empty talk and pulling-wool-over-rakyat’s-eyes tricks only!.

    Comment by KTWong87 — July 10, 2012 @ 10:21 AM | Reply

  5. In fact, is not the issue of ISA. It is because the BN misuse the rules of ISA to. They use ISA rules for political purposes. See the “Operasi Lalang”, 1987 who they catch ? communist ? No, all opposition leaders !!! This Mamak is really a bastard leader !!! Send him to Kamunting for the rest of his life…..

    Comment by Mike- Johor — July 10, 2012 @ 9:39 AM | Reply


      The original purpose of the ISA was the suppression of internal anti-colonial uprisings such as the communist movement for the national liberation of Malaya from British rule.

      The origins of the ISA has been well documented. It may be traced beyond similar suppressive law against the IRA which was fighting for Irish independence. The anti-insurrectionist laws were transplanted all over the British Empire and in Malaya and than Sabah and Sarawak after 1946 with laws described as for “preservation of public security and order”.

      In Sarawak this was of particular significance as the anti-cession anger flared up and ended with the assassinated of the British governor in 1946.

      The MI5 or British Security Service was in charge of the counter-insurgency war against the IRA. MI5 helped Benito Mussolini get his start in politics with the £100 weekly wage and this led to major havoc and human sufferings and formation of the AXIS alliance.

      There are many more recent examples of how the British also had a hand in creating and propping up dictatorial regimes like UMNO and the consequent human sufferings this monster has brought the people of Malaya and its Sabah and Sarawak colonies.

      [An article on the more recent background on British internal security measures.
      http://www.mindef.gov.sg/safti/pointer/back/journals/2000/vol26_2/8.htm ]

      The BN has in never in any way “misused” the ISA. In fact it has been using it effectively to suppress its opposition which is the purpose of the law. However, it became a handy political tool in the last 55 years to remove political opponents and maintain UMNO dictatorship.

      This end result is seen in many countries where they had similar laws and in many cases inherited from the British.

      The irony of all this is if the people are sufficiently motivated to overthrow those in power, the tyrants will also be imprisoned and tried for their crimes.

      Comment by INFOMAN — July 10, 2012 @ 11:50 AM | Reply

      • Infoman. A good comments. Then, what can we do to prevent such a senario in our country ?

        Comment by Mike- Johor — July 13, 2012 @ 4:13 PM | Reply


    His gomen had to abolish the ISA because of public pressure for over 50 years.

    It has nothing to do with Najib’s or UMNO’s overnight conversion to being “humane” in nature.

    Then they replace it with some thing worse!

    He is correct on one point.

    Let us start by redistributing the wealth stolen from us through Petronas, Mahathir’s “$billion” companies, Taib’s financial empire, returning control of our oil and gas and best of all de-colonize Sarawak and Sabah.

    The best policy Malaya could have for Sabah and Sarawak is to de-colonize the 2 colonies now!

    Comment by anon — July 10, 2012 @ 9:07 AM | Reply

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