KUALA LUMPUR, 1 DEC 2008: MCA has picked up on the People’s Progressive Party (PPP)’s call to amend the Internal Security Act (ISA), saying that it was part of reforms the Barisan Nasional (BN) should undertake.
MCA central committee member Wong Nai Chee said amending the ISA was critical to ensure people’s confidence in the BN.
He said the ISA was still needed to curb terrorism, referring to the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai. But he added that the government should amend provisions which were unsuitable and outdated to prevent the Act from being abused.
“ISA should be amended to bring in more checks and balances to be conducted by the courts. This is to ensure that judicial review could be conducted to scrutinise the grounds of detention, and whether such grounds are in accordance with the spirit of the Act,” Wong, the MCA Youth Legal Affairs and Parliamentary Legislature Bureau chairperson, said in a statement today.
Wong, who is also a former Kota Melaka member of parliament, said he concurred with PPP president Datuk M Kayveas that Malaysians were concerned about ISA abuse and failure to address this would result in loss of public confidence in the BN.
“Through the BN channel and also our representatives in the Cabinet, the MCA will continue to urge the government to amend the ISA. The party also hopes that all other BN component parties will work together with MCA in pushing for the amendment of ISA to prevent it from being misused,” he said.
Kayveas said yesterday at the PPP Youth and Wanita meeting that the party would leave the BN if the government did not amend the ISA by the next general election, scheduled for 2013 at the latest.
He said he was obliged to follow resolutions proposed by the PPP Youth and Wanita wings in calling for the ISA to be abolished.
Kayveas said instead of abolishing the act, he would meet “halfway” and call for amendments instead.
“The Barisan has to make changes before the next general election. It would be suicidal if we do not,” Kayveas said.
In PUTRAJAYA today, Umno vice president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin criticised Kayveas for making threats against the BN in public.
Muhyiddin said Kayveas, as a member of the BN supreme council, should voice his concerns in the coalition’s highest decision-making body.
“All BN component parties can bring any view they have to the supreme council. They can bring their concerns on government policy, on the law, anything they are not happy with.
“Kayveas should not create a negative picture on the unity of the BN as we should be strengthening ourselves after the March general election. He himself stated his commitment at the last BN supreme council meeting to ‘sink or float’ with the BN. I don’t know why he’s changing tunes now, but he should bring his concerns to the BN instead of making threats.”
Muhyiddin was speaking to reporters after attending a function about a joint programme between his ministry, International Trade and Industry, with the Higher Education Ministry on internships for university students in small and medium enterprises.