This polls ends at 5.00pm today.
Here’s is the reformist Najib speaking:
And the ultimate ‘gostan’.
What a letdown.
Blog reader Ed G writes:
The ISA was enacted in 1960 after Malayan independence. The then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, defined the purpose of the act as to “be used solely against the communists… My Cabinet colleagues and I gave a solemn promise to Parliament and the nation that the immense powers given to the government under the ISA would never be used to stifle legitimate opposition and silence lawful dissent”.
As history would prove, this promise was broken countless of times. In short, the ISA in its original spirit was similar to the Patriot Act until the powers that be could not resist the temptation of using it against legitimate political dissenters. Thus, notwithstanding the preventive detention without trial, the ISA and the Patriot Act are actually worlds apart.
Similar to the ISA, the power that be recently turned the Sedition Act against their political opponents and critics. In many of these cases, the things mentioned or published were in fact mundane or ordinary in a healthy functional democratic environment where criticism or peaceful dissent are accepted as a means of check and balance against the excesses of those holding the rein of power, and together with it, the nation’s wealth.
The very fact that these people have been criminalised by the authorities is a blatant betrayal of the principles of democracy. The reason (or excuse) of raising tension is rather weak especially in the light of the ‘apologist’ stance by the AG in the ‘burning of Bibles’ case whereupon a lame excuse was given so as not to use the Sedition Act against a pro-Umno activist’s direct incitement to take the law into one’s own hands.
It is therefore not surprising that Umno leaders fought strongly against the repeal of this unjust act in favour of the Harmony Act as most of the current cases would certainly fall outside the purview of the latter act, thus depriving those in power of a potent political weapon.
Even in their current weakened state, they (Umno) have no intention whatsoever to answer to the people but instead choose the autocratic route to silence their critics and dissenters. And Najib had had to bow to their wishes with his ‘gostan’ or U-turn manoeuvre.