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Pakatan wants to take over Kamunting ISA camp - ref. Malaysiakini

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng last night floated the possibility of Perak acquiring the Kamunting ISA detention camp as a start to ending the tough security law.

Lim, himself an ISA detainee in the 1987 crackdown, said the Pakatan Rakyat states can start a donation drive among Malaysians to help acquire the colonial-era camp in northern Perak.

"The state can acquire land for two reasons; economic development and for public purposes, but we have to study the law first," Lim told the Abolish ISA forum held at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall here.

"The land can then be used for development of low-cost houses," the DAP secretary-general said.

"I am sure Malaysians want to contribute towards the effort to remove the stain of the ISA off Malaysia."

Lim said other Pakatan-ruled states could also help Perak to acquire the detention camp, although he admitted it could be a costly exercise.

Apart from Penang and Perak, the Pakatan Rakyat electoral pact of PKR, DAP and Pas also rule Kedah, Kelantan and Selangor. It also denied the ruling Barisan Nasional its customary two-thirds majority in Parliament by taking 82 seats.

Lim, who returned to Parliament as Bagan MP in the landmark March 8 elections, also promised to move a private member's Bill to abolish the ISA soon.

"Then we will see whether MCA leaders like Ong Tee Keat who spoke out against the ISA would support the Bill and whether Koh Tsu Koon would direct the two Gerakan MPs to support the Bill," he added.

Last week, MCA central committee had called for Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, who was freed last Friday, and blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin to be released and charged in court if there was evidence.

The Chinese party also called for a comprehensive review of the ISA.

Raja Petra, who runs the popular Malaysia-Today news portal and is harshly critical of the Barisan Nasional government, has now been detained for two years under the ISA.

Earlier Lim in his speech welcomed Kok as the newest member of the ISA detainees club but quickly added the forum was to celebrate the Selangor exco member's freedom.

"We are also here tonight to celebrate the spirit of Raja Petra who remains with us," he said to loud cheers.

Raja Petra's wife Marina Lee also spoke at the forum and said she would visit her husband tomorrow at the Kamunting detention camp.

"I will tell him about the crowd tonight," she added.