A small group of about 50 pro-ISA protesters tried to disrupt an anti-ISA forum at Komtar Walk in Penang today.
That’s bad. No, pathetic. Who is really behind them? And what’s the point of the protest? They are not going to convince anyone – unless their aim is to stifle freedom of expression.
The protesters should be free to hold their own event anywhere else – Speakers’ Square, perhaps? Why stop others from speaking out against the ISA?
Writer and filmmaker Hishamuddin Rais was right when he stressed today at the anti-ISA forum that everyone should respect one another’s right to freedom of speech.
It is also strange that the police seem to come down hard on anti-ISA vigils but allow more leeway for pro-ISA protests even when they disrupt other events like today’s.
This is the second time that pro-ISA protesters have disrupted an abolish ISA event. A similar group disrupted an anti-ISA vigil organised by GMI to mark the 60th anniversary of the ISA. Police arrested several anti-ISA campaigners then.