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Rais’s love-hate for the ISA

“The mechanism that we have under the ISA, specifically Section 8 and 73, can be challenged through the process of habeas corpus, which system is also prevalent here, and therefore, to say that the ISA is not up to the standard of humanity is wrong.”

Newly appointed Information, Communication, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim in an interview on BBC talk show Hardtalk. He said the process of habeas corpus allows Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees to apply to court and prove themselves free from all charges against them. (Source: Rais: Wrong To Say ISA Not Up To Standard, Bernama, 13 April 2009)

Rais was taking on detractors of the ISA, which allows for indefinite detention without trial.

“The rejection rate for the writ of habeas corpus for ISA detainees is almost 100%.”

KL Bar criminal practice committee chairperson Datuk N Sivananthan, in explaining why habeas corpus does not provide adequate checks and balance on abuses under the ISA.

He also attributed the high rejection rate of habeas corpus applications to the “extremely poor separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary” over the last 20 years, beginning from the 1988 judicial crisis. (Source: No real check and balance to ISA use, The Nut Graph, 14 Nov 2008)

“Detention without trial is easily the most draconian and controversial of executive powers available to a government vis-à-vis the basic rights of individuals.”

Rais, 14 years ago in his book Freedom under Executive Power in Malaysia: A Study of Executive Supremacy (p. 249). In addition, he wrote: “The ISA does not speak well for the future of the rule of law in Malaysia. In fact, it is the main adversary of the rule of law. The abolition of the ISA is imperative.” (p. 366). (Source:  Freedom under Executive Power in Malaysia: A Study of Executive Supremacy, Endowment Publications: Kuala Lumpur, 1995)

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6 Responses to “Rais’s love-hate for the ISA”

  1. Melissa says:

    Biasalah, ini kan cara orang Umno?

    Granted, Rais Yatim has always been in the ever-shrinking category of “the best among the worst” for Umno, but that doesn’t mean he’s really any good, does it? The standards of judging Umno have slipped so low, so fast that even the SPM grading curve can’t compare…

    This is just the reality of Umno, like it or not. They, quite simply, suck and they are so fundamentally flawed that nothing short of a complete overhaul, possibly as the opposition party, will breed new life into their dying embers.

  2. Eric says:

    What’s the issue here? Rais is just proving he is a real BN-Umno leader saying different things to different people.

    Illustration: give taxpayers’ money, while pretending it is BN’s money, to vernacular schools [as reported in Sin Chew], [and then] accusing the non-Malay [Malaysians] of being ungrateful foreign migrants in Utusan.

    Lucky, Malaysian voters are cleverer than that now.

  3. stk says:

    Is this the minister who said win-win for Malaysia and Singapore? The little red dot got the island and we got a piece of rock. The reason is simple, [didn't] do research and even the picture of the island is copied from the internet.

  4. courtjester says:

    This fella can sing twist and shake at the same time. Despite being surat khabar lama, Najib needs him to do the cover. Remember he was also amongst the first to kiss Che Det during the crooked bridge issue. Malay [Malaysians] say pandai cari makan!

  5. yeen says:

    Well, we have always mixed feelings towards something we ourselves not capable of understanding. So, we say what people want to hear in order to keep our persona intact and not lose face, after all, we really do not know what really is ISA. What say you? I say what you say.

  6. John says:

    If you can’t twist and turn how can you climb the ranks of UMNO? I love Anwar, but you know that he rose in the ranks of UMNO because he was deft enough to play the snake game like the rest of them.

    Also, principled individuals have no place in BN. They use words like “national interest” like their toilet paper. For example, Rais now says that BN lost because private TV and radio stations put “commercial value” over “national interest”

    “This will not arise if the Act is followed. There are stations that do not carry messages good for nation-building,”

    But who actually has an interest in this “national interest” and who are these messages “good” for? I don’t think I need to name the elephant in the room.

    I never knew that TV stations were supposed to take political sides. I thought as a company they were suppose to be taking care of their shareholder’s bottom line, and as the product they are selling, is entertainment to the their audiences.

    I didn’t know they were supposed to be involved in propaganda for a particular party. It’s also funny that Rais should say that because it’s not like the opposition was flooding the airwaves with ads to the detriment of BN…only BN could advertise on mainstream media!! so they lost on the MSM media front to…a nonexistent force?

    This is symptomatic of UMNO trying to blame everyone but themselves for their embarrassing “performance” if you can call it that.


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