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Freeing 13 detainees not enough: Karpal

PENANG, 4 April 2009: DAP chairperson Karpal Singh has urged the government to release all the people held at the Kamunting Detention Centre under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

“The release of 13 ISA detainees was not enough as there were 62 detainees in Kamunting,” he told reporters here today.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in his maiden address over television last night as the new prime minister, announced the immediate release of the 13 ISA detainees.

On Najib’s promise to review the ISA, Karpal said there was no point to rebuild the Act which should be abolished.

On the lifting of the three-month ban on Harakah and Suara Keadilan, the official organs of PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat respectively, he also said that it was not enough.

“What should be lifted is the restriction placed upon the sale of these two newsletters to members only,” he said.

Further he hoped that the release of ISA detainees and the decision to remove the ban on Harakah and Suara Keadilan were not a political stunt ahead of the Batang Ai, Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang by-elections on 7 April.

Karpal also said the only way for Najib to gain the confidence of the people was to be fair to all races.

The new prime minister should also forge better ties with the four states run by the opposition, he said.

On Najib’s cabinet, he said it should not include members suspected to be corrupt. “Najib should start getting rid of corrupt and deadwood officers in order to eradicate corruption in the country,” he said. — Bernama

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