ISA for Crimes of Opinion | Malaysian Sentinel : Malaysia's Politics from a Malaysian Citizen Blogger

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ISA for Crimes of Opinion

It seems the ISA is being used to detain and question any person who holds an opinion which goes against the current (insecure) government. Reporters, Bloggers, Opposition MPs and even Innocent Citizens are placed under this draconic act. What was their crime?

The Crime of Opinion.

Opinions deemed able to incite the populace to rebel or to induce fear among the populace. The latest case is another weird incidence where the ISA was used to question a SUARAM activist, Cheng Lee Whee, for making a report on the Johor Police website concerning the arrest of 27 people at Kampung Baru Plentong Tengah. Her report on the police portal was deemed able to caused worry among the populace and thus, the writer questioned. The odd thing was, why use the ISA? Isn't there a Sedition Act that can be used or is this simply a case of no case?

I believe Lee Whee did not commit any crime and thus she is uneligible to be questioned nor arrested under any law. So the police (wise folks these people) decided to use the ISA which can be used as long as the Home Minister sees it fit. The only crime Lee Whee committed was a Crime of Opinion. Whatever she wrote did not go down well with the Johor police and they decided to take action.

This is a worrying state of affairs for Malaysia. If the citizens are not allowed to voice out their opinions then why have a nation in the first place? The basic component of any nation is the citizen. It is the citizen who works and earn a wage which in turn is used to pay taxes that support the government. Those same taxes are used to provide wages for the police force and Ministers in office. Yet, the establishment seems to have forgotten that they are suppose to safe-guard the interest of the populace rather than their own interest.

What is wrong with a citizen reporting on the perceived abuse of power by the police force via official channels? It is not as if Lee Whee is going to organize a rally to drum up local support to criticize the arrest of these 27 individuals. Instead she posted her opinion on the Johor Police portal for all to see and evaluate. For that she was brought in for questioning under the ISA. This in itself is abuse of power by the Johor Police and Home Minister.

If there was a crime committed than please use the available laws and not the ISA. Allow Lee Whee her day in court to defend her report and seriously look at why people are not happy with the arrest of the 27 individuals. Why shoot the messenger? Read the message and allow the court of law to decide.

In this regards, the government (via the Home Minister) has seriously lost its case in the Court of Public Opinion.


Anonymous said...

What about KJ aka SIL, he dint have opinion and he dint any question ?So if he dint hve opnion or questtion y he is potential ISA.Your article oso selective and cherry pick.If u want justice u oso must pick on KJ aka SIL as he is ISA potntnial.

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