KUALA LUMPUR, 4 April 2009: Wanita MCA today proposed that the Internal Security Act (ISA) be amended and renamed anti-terrorist act to indicate its functions are strictly to curb terrorist activities and not abused on civilians.
Its chief, Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, said although the act was still relevant to combat against terrorism, it should never be used flagrantly against civil liberties or civilians.
She said the wing held firmly to the principles that the act must only be enforced on individuals or groups involved in terrorist or subversive activities.
“In protecting human rights, before the authorities impose any preventive laws, they must fulfill very stringent conditions to prevent misuse,” she added.
Chew said MCA fully supported the decision of new Prime Mister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to release the 13 ISA detainees and his call to conduct a comprehensive review on the act.
MCA information and communication bureau head Lee Wei Kiat said the ISA was an obsolete act formulated in the 1960s and was perceived to be misused by irresponsible parties.
In a press statement today, he said the ISA was viewed as having too much power and a check and balance mechanism was required to ensure the detention of individuals under the ISA should be subject to judicial review.
“MCA wishes to state that the ISA must be reviewed as its implementation is open to abuse. We must always remember that the original purpose of the enactment of the ISA was to fight organised violence and stem terrorist activities.
“MCA is mindful that preventive laws are needed to maintain peace, law and order as we need to wipe out real threats posed against our country’s national security, especially with regard to extremist fanatics, subversive elements, heinous crimes and terrorism.
“Rather than being abolished, ISA should be amended in accordance with the needs and requirements of the existing political landscape today,” added Lee. — Bernama