Commentary and Analysis

Latest Breaking News

Latest Videos

Your Ad Here

ISA slammed, Zaid lauded

News report from Malaysiakini:

of Seputeh member of parliament Teresa Kok has been described as a “smudge” on the democratic role that Malaysia is playing in Southeast Asia, especially Burma.

Loretta Ann P Rosales, the senior adviser of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC), said the use of the Internal Security Act against any individual amounts to a country back-tracking on democratic ideals.

teresa teng klang forum 250408 teresa talkKok is a founding-member and secretary of AIPMC, which comprises parliamentarians from Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia. Set up in 2004, its aim is to restore freedom and institute democracy in Burma.

When contacted this afternoon in the Philippines, Rosales said: “As a model of democracy, Malaysia has a head role to play to be an example for other neighbouring countries, especially Myanmar, for which we are working really hard to (obtain) justice.

“We need to preserve the peace and stability in the region, but detention without trial is not democratic and it will only leave a smudge on the role played by Malaysia.”

She said the March 8 general election - which saw the opposition deny Barisan Nasional’s long-held two-thirds seat majority in Parliament - was “good news” as this has brought in checks and balances in administration.

“But (using the ISA) is a bad sign because that would be the last thing a democratic country like Malaysia should adhere to,” she said.

Kok was detained last Friday for allegedly causing tension and conflict among races.

However, Rosales noted that Kok was seen by many as dynamic, very friendly and progressive in nature.

Expressing shock over the arrest, she asked: “How could a parliamentarian like her do anything unlawful to the people and the government?”

She also said the situation has been reported to the Inter-Parliamentary Union to demand her immediate release.

Zaid’s decision lauded

AIPMC executive director Roshan Jason also urged the government to put Kok on trial if she has committed an offence, instead of using the draconian law.

zaid ibrahim interview 140308 03“As a parliamentarian who fights for the cause of the people, Kok deserves justice and due process of law,” he said.

He also lauded de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim for resigning from his cabinet post, in part due to the arrests of Kok and two others under the ISA.

Zaid is another founder-member and senior adviser in AIPMC.

“It was a principled move. He is also someone we would prefer to have in government (to help) guard stability in the region,” added Roshan.
The statement by the AIPMC is likely not to be received well by the government. Most likely it would be branded an "outside interference".

Indeed, I completely agree with Anwar when he says that the present regime is in a state of denial.