Jawatankuasa Penyelaras

ERA Consumer, Bosses Group, Ex-ISA Detainees Group, Gabungan Rumah Panjang, Group of Concerned Citizens, Jawatankuasa Sokongan Peneroka Bandar, Majlis Graduan Malaysia, Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan, Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor,  Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat,, SUARAM, Women’s Candidacy Initiative.


c/o- 21 Jalan Muhibbah 8, Taman Muhibbah, 43000 Kajang, Selangor  Tel-fax:  60-3-87378380


April 12, 2001


Press Statement


The Internal Security Act: License to make baseless accusations


The People’s Manifesto Initiative wishes to reiterate its total objection to the actions of the police in detaining people under the Internal Security Act. In addition we call on the Inspector General of Police of be more accountable for what he says.


We question the need for the use of the Internal Security Act against legitimate activities of opposition political parties. Opposition political parties are very much part and parcel of a democracy. The police have no right to curtail this right by abusing their powers of preventive detention. The Internal Security Act should be abolished. However because it is still law in the country the ISA should be used with great care. In its current application this element is solely lacking. The Home Minister claims that he did not order the arrests and that the police are acting on their own. This situation is totally unacceptable. If an obnoxious law like the ISA has to be used it must be used with the few checks and balances that it makes provisions for. Otherwise we are not very far from being a police state.


Secondly if the IGP has evidence against anyone he should let that evidence be judged in a court of law. His present public statements making wild allegations against people who do not have a right to defend themselves in a court of law, borders on lawlessness. This dangerous trend has to stop immediately. Since 1998 we have heard numerous wild allegations against a small group of Reformasi activists. We have yet to see concrete evidence that these allegations are true. We call on the police to produce evidence of all the allegations that they have made since 1998 before they go on to new allegations.


Thirdly we call on the present Parliament to respond to the increasing harassment of legitimate political activity. A parliament that is elected and which sits while all around them the state continues to stifle democracy makes a mockery of this esteemed institution. We call on Parliament to respond and hold the Home Ministry accountable for the actions of the police.




Irene Xavier