(Updated 12:11, 4 April 2009)
(pic courtesy of theSun)
KUALA LUMPUR, 3 April 2009: New Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tonight launched his administration with the release of 13 Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees.
He also pledged to conduct a comprehensive review of the ISA which allows for indefinite detention without trial.
In his maiden speech over television after having been sworn in as the country’s sixth prime minister this morning, Najib also announced the government’s decision to remove the three-month suspension imposed on Harakah and Suara Keadilan, the official organs of PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) respectively.
“These decisions are timely as we move to enhance the confidence of our citizens in those entrusted with maintaining peace, law and order, while recognising the need to remain vigilant of the very real security threats we continue to face as a young nation,” he said.
Najib said the Home Ministry would announce details shortly.
Declaring the slogan of “One Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”, Najib invited all Malaysians to join him in the task of renewing the nation.
Najib, 55, who succeeded Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the country’s sixth prime minister, pledged to work tirelessly in serving the people.
He also promised to remain focused in providing strong leadership to lead the people out of the current economic crisis which has hit the world, including Malaysia.
“I will be steadfast in my commitment to meet the needs, aspirations and concerns of all Malaysians,” he said.
Meanwhile, of the 13 ISA detainees released, two are members of the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), one a member of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI), seven are members of the Darul Islam group, and three were foreigners involved in the falsifying of documents.
They are Pakana Selama, Amir Hussain, Sundaraj Vijay, San Khaing, R Kenghadharan, V Ganapathy Rao, Wan Amin Wan Hamat, A Artas A Burhanuddin, Francis Indanan, Mohd Nazri Dollah, Mohd Arasad Patangari, Idris Lanama and Binsali Omar.
The JI member, Wan Amin, was detained on 20 March 2003 and his detention was extended to 19 March 2011.
Ganabatirau and Kengadharan are Hindraf leaders; Binsali, A Artas, Idris, Francis, Mohd Nazri, Pakana and Mohd Arasad are Darul Islam group members; and the foreigners are Sundaraj (of India), San Khaing (Myanmar) and Amir Hussain (Myanmar).
Meanwhile, in SUNGAI PETANI, PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today welcomed Najib’s decision to free 13 people detained under the ISA.
“We welcome the move but at same time, want the ISA to be abolished,” he said when speaking at a dinner gathering in Taman Ria here. — Bernama